The abandoned ships' project: an overview of the archaeology of deliberate watercraft discard in Australia
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The Abandoned Ships Project (ASP) was a research initiative of the Department of Archaeology at Flinders University, South Australia, and carried out in conjunction with the doctoral research of one of the authors. The project involved the compilation of a database of more than 1,500 discarded and partly dismantled watercraft sites, including information from the archaeological inspection of more than 120 deliberately discarded ships. Researchers used this data to assess the degree of correlation between discard activities and economic, social and technological issues. The logistics of discard were also examined as reflected in commentaries describing discard processes and as seen in the archaeological signatures of these events. This information illustrated the causal relationships among processes (landscapes, economic trends, regulatory frameworks, and cultural site formation) associated with harm minimisation, placement assurance, salvage, and discard activities.