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Knowing our Oceans and Seas

With water covering seventy-one percent of our planet, we might wonder how much of the oceans and seas we really know, and how much archaeology there is. Seafloor surveying and exploration is in a state of continuous development, building on new technologies in recording, mapping, and analysing data. Although marine surveying techniques are well standardised nowadays and exceed expectations, we still surrender to the immensity and depth of the oceans. Continue reading →

The maritime rhythms of the Indian Ocean monsoon

Throughout the last few thousand years the mariners and trade routes of the Indian Ocean have moved to a unique rhythm based upon the prevailing seasonal weather patterns. These are known individually as a monsoon, derived from the Arabic mawsim, meaning a fixed time of year. Two main monsoons can be identified: blowing from the north-east in the winter and the south-west during the summer with a variable weather season in between. Continue reading →

Material seas

    In the last week I’ve spent an improbably large amount of time thinking about various philosophical conceptions of maritime space. This is due partly to Monday’s British Waters and Beyond: The cultural significance of the sea since 1800 at the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol, and partly to my increasing obsession with sailing directions. Continue reading →