Multidisciplinary Research Potential of Whaling Heritage in the Pacific Region

Dublin Core


Multidisciplinary Research Potential of Whaling Heritage in the Pacific Region


Session 11
Diversity in approaches to maritime archaeology, underwater cultural heritage and related areas


From the time that whaleships first rounded Cape Horn at the end of the eighteenth century, the activities of European and American whalers transformed the landscape and seascape of the Pacific region. While systematic hunting had a profound effect on cetacean populations, whaling affected more than just the hunted. The pursuit of new whaling grounds, the need to replenish food, water and firewood, and the frequent occurrence of shipwrecks and desertion, all led to interactions with the indigenous inhabitants and environments of virtually every archipelago. These interactions generated enduring influences, both positive and negative, on the cultural and material heritage of the Pacific.

The archaeological evidence of whaling can be seen through the wrecks of whaling ships, the remains of whaling stations, and shipwreck survivors' camps that are found in even the most distant corners of the Pacific. The information contained in such sites has proven potential to inform researchers from a range of disciplines including archaeology, historical ecology, biology, and conservation science. Due to the remote locations of many of these sites and the limited resources available for accessing and studying them, multidisciplinary approaches to their investigation offer researchers and heritage managers cost effective options for gleaning valuable data.


Jason T. Raupp
Suzanne S. Finney
Kelly Gleason


November 2011



Jason T. Raupp, Suzanne S. Finney, and Kelly Gleason , “Multidisciplinary Research Potential of Whaling Heritage in the Pacific Region,” The MUA Collection, accessed March 21, 2018,

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