• salvage;
  • site formation;
  • cultural processes;
  • shipwreck;
  • disaster response;
  • crisis

Thirty years after Muckelroy's seminal 1976 paper on shipwreck site formation, research on the cultural processes which contribute to the creation and modification of shipwrecks remains limited. It is proposed that by adopting a process-oriented framework, we can integrate and synthesize the documentary, oral and archaeological evidence of human response to shipwreck into a structure which parallels the physical progress of the disaster. Possible cultural responses to shipwreck are considered, from pre-voyage planning through to post-impact salvage, including physical correlations potentially visible in the archaeological record.

© 2006 The Author