1st Edition

Submerged Prehistory in the Americas Methods, Approaches and Results

Edited By John M. O’Shea Copyright 2023

    This book presents an overview of the exciting new developments in underwater research in North America, ranging from new approaches for discovering submerged sites to an assessment of how these findings challenge the understanding of the North American past.

    Archaeological sites preserved on the world’s continental shelves are relevant to a wide range of major research questions and their importance increases with the heightened awareness of climate change and rising modern sea levels. Once thought lost forever, these sites survive underwater, preserved from the ravages of modern farming and development. To investigate the submerged landscapes, archaeologists use many of the same technologies developed for discovery of shipwrecks but, couple them with anthropological and environmental models to identify and study the way of life of people residing in these ancient lands.

    In this book, leading figures associated with submerged site exploration share an emphasis on the conduct and results of underwater research. It will be a fascinating read for advanced students of Archaeology, History and Environmental Studies. This volume was originally published as a special issue of The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology.

    Introduction—Submerged prehistory in the Americas: Methods, approaches and results

    John M. O’Shea

    1. Submerged prehistory and anthropological archaeology: Do underwater studies contribute to theory?

    Ashley Lemke

    2. "The early days" – underwater prehistoric archaeology in the USA and Canada

    Ervan G. Garrison and Jessica W. Cook Hale

    3. Crossing the waterline: Integrating terrestrial and submerged site investigations in the Aucilla River, Florida

    Jessi J. Halligan

    4. Combining underwater and terrestrial research approaches in the Great Basin Desert, Walker Lake, Nevada

    Neil N. Puckett

    5. The magnificent seven: Marine submerged precontact sites found by systematic geoarchaeology in the Americas

    Michael K. Faught and Morgan F. Smith

    6. Micro-regional approaches for submerged site archaeology

    John M. O’Shea

    7. The archaeology of submerged prehistoric sites on the North Pacific Coast of North America

    Norman Alexander Easton, Charles Moore and Andrew R. Mason

    8. Coastally-adapted: A developing model for coastal Paleoindian sites on the North American eastern continental shelf

    Shawn Joy

    9. Global experience in locating submerged prehistoric sites and their relevance to research on the American continental shelves

    Nicholas C. Flemming


    John O'Shea is Curator of Great Lakes Archaeology in the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology at the University of Michigan, USA. He received his PhD in Prehistoric Archaeology from Cambridge University, UK. In addition to underwater research, he has directed major field projects in Hungary, Romania, and North America.