Cite this as: Ilves, K. and Marila, M. 2021 Finnish Maritime Archaeology through its Publications, Internet Archaeology 56. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.56.17
This article analyses Finnish maritime archaeology through a compiled bibliography of 621 scientific and popular works published between 1942–2020. General trends and turning points in the history of the discipline are identified and discussed vis-a-vis temporal and topical foci discerned in the publications. Special attention is drawn to the concentration in Finnish research on shipwrecks from the historical period, and the low international visibility of scientific production is problematised. While large-scale projects have been carried out in Finnish maritime archaeology, knowledge production within the authorised heritage discourse in particular has aimed to fulfil the needs of local and national rather than international audiences. Our compiled bibliography, which is hereby made available to the wider research community, has potential to become a valuable tool for identifying and developing future research areas.
Corresponding author: Kristin Ilves
University of Helsinki
Figure 1: Number and chronological distribution of 621 works in Finnish maritime archaeology published between 1942–2020. Key historical developments of the discipline are highlighted on the timeline: 1963 – Antiquities Act; 1968 – Founding of the Bureau of Maritime Archaeology at the Finnish Heritage Agency (FHA); 1993 – Start of teaching in maritime archaeology at the University of Helsinki; 1995 – First scientific diver course in Finland; 1999 – The discovery of the Vrouw Maria; 2001 – UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (not ratified in Finland); 2011 – Termination of the Maritime Archaeology Unit at the FHA (the Unit was a continuation of the Bureau established in 1968, and the section continues to exist, albeit as a less independent part of a larger subsection of the FHA).
Figure 2: Number and chronological distribution of 621 works in Finnish maritime archaeology by language: 327 are in Finnish, 189 in English, 104 in Swedish and one in German (the latter is excluded from the figure).
Figure 3: Chronological distribution of 621 works in Finnish maritime archaeology by the character of the publication venue: 131 references can be regarded as published internationally, 402 references are classified as targeted on a national audience, 58 references have been published locally, and 30 are counted as grey literature.
Figure 4: Chronological distribution of 621 works in Finnish maritime archaeology by publication platform: 331 references are tied to journals, 151 works are published as contributions in edited books, 38 works are classified as books, including booklets, 76 references are categorised as reports, and there are also 25 student papers.
Figure 5: Chronological distribution of 621 works in Finnish maritime archaeology by publication type: 167 references can be regarded as popular scientific, and 454 references are scientific, including 295 archaeological, 74 heritage management, 38 historical, and 47 other references.
Figure 6: Chronological distribution of 621 works in Finnish maritime archaeology by research focus: 67 focus on prehistoric and early medieval times (before 1300), 56 relate to the study on the 14th–16th centuries, 321 works concern the 17th–19th centuries, 10 deal with times after 1900, 62 references indicate a multi-period approach, while for 101 references this classification was not applicable.
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