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At Home on the Waves: Human Habitation of the Sea from the Mesolithic to Today

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Volume 24

Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

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At Home on the Waves

Human Habitation of the Sea from the Mesolithic to Today

Edited by Tanya J. King and Gary Robinson
Foreword by Bonnie McCay
Afterword by Tim Ingold

392 pages, 76 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-142-0 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (February 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-143-7 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“At Home on the Waves sets out what it aims to do and contributes to the overarching theme of the centrality of marine environments to people around the world. Those researching the topic will appreciate the numerous examples from anthropological and archaeological perspectives and the range of geographical locations…that render the book worth reading.” • Maritime Archaeology

“A very ambitious project which engages critically with a timely topic… It crucially brings to the fore the voices and ways of life of those often marginalized or otherwise left out.” • Fiona McCormack, University of Waikato

“Interdisciplinary research is all the rage, but rarely does one find a single volume that manages to weave such varied perspectives and approaches into a fascinating whole.” • Madeleine Hall-Arber, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Contemporary public discourses about the ocean are routinely characterized by scientific and environmentalist narratives that imagine and idealize marine spaces in which humans are absent. In contrast, this collection explores the variety of ways in which people have long made themselves at home at sea, and continue to live intimately with it. In doing so, it brings together both ethnographic and archaeological research – much of it with an explicit Ingoldian approach – on a wide range of geographical areas and historical periods.

Tanya J. King lectures in environmental anthropology at Deakin University, Australia. She is a maritime anthropologist, and her research focuses on the social and ecological implications of environmental policy implementation.

Gary Robinson is a senior lecturer in archaeology at Bangor University, North Wales. His main research interest is the prehistoric archaeology of maritime and coastal communities in western Britain and Ireland.

Subject: Anthropology (General) Archaeology Environmental Studies (General)


List of Illustrations
List of Tables

Bonnie McCay


Introduction: At Sea in the Twenty-First Century
Tanya J. King and Gary Robinson

Chapter 1. Moving Beyond the “Scape” to Being in the (Watery) World, Wherever
Hannah Cobb and Jesse Ransley

Chapter 2. Working Grounds, Producing Places, and Becoming at Home at Sea
Penny McCall Howard

Chapter 3. Reexamination Brazilian Mounds: Changed Views of Coastal Societies
Daniela Klokler and MaDu Gaspar

Chapter 4. Seamless Archaeology: The Evolving Use of Archaeology in the Study of Seascapes
Caroline Wickham-Jones

Chapter 5. Moving Along: Wayfinding, Following, and Nonverbal Communication across the Frozen Seascape of East Greenland
Sophie Cäcilie Elixhauser

Chapter 6. Drawing Gestures: Body Movement in Perceiving and Communicating Submerged Landscapes
Cristián Simonetti

Chapter 7. Exploration of a Buried Seascape: The Cultural Maritime Landscapes of Tremadoc Bay
Gary Robinson

Chapter 8. Fish Traps of the Crocodile Islands: Windows on Another World
Bentley James

Chapter 9. A Community-Based Approach to Documenting and Interpreting the Cultural Seascapes of the Recherche Archipelago, Western Australia
David Guilfoyle, Ross Anderson, Ron “Doc” Reynolds, and Tom Kimber

Chapter 10. Recognized Seaworthy: Resistance and Transformation among Icelandic Fisherwomen
Margaret Willson and Helga Tryggvadóttir

Chapter 11. “It Is Windier Nowadays”: Coastal Livelihoods and Seascape-Making in Qeqertarsuaq, West Greenland
Pelle Tejsner

Chapter 12. Home-Making on Land and Sea in the Archipelagic Philippines
Olivia Swift

Chapter 13. Fishing for Food and Fun: How Fishing Practices Mediate Physical and Discursive Relationships with the Sea in Carteret County, North Carolina, US
Noëlle Boucquey and Lisa Campbell

Chapter 14. Sea Nomads: Sama-Bajau Mobility, Livelihoods, and Marine Conservation in Southeast Asia
Natasha Stacey and Edward H. Allison

Chapter 15. Formal and Informal Territoriality in Ocean Management
Tanya J. King

Afterword: At Home on the Waves? A Concluding Comment
Tim Ingold


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