Big Data in Maritime Archaeology: Challenges and Prospects from the Middle East and North Africa

Georgia Andreou, Julia Nikolaus, K Westley, Crystal El Safadi, Lucy Blue, Ash Smith, C Breen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
105 Downloads (Pure)


The Middle East and North Africa have witnessed a surfeit of geospatial data collection projects, resulting in big databases with powerful deductive capacities. Despite the valuable insights and expansive evidentiary record offered by those databases, emphasis on anthropogenic threats to cultural heritage, combined with a limited integration of local perspectives, have raised important questions on the ethical and epistemological dimensions of big data. This paper contextualizes maritime cultural heritage (MCH) in those debates through the lens of the Maritime Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa project (MarEA). MarEA is developing a unique for the region database for MCH designed to amalgamate a baseline record emphasizing spatial location, state of preservation, and vulnerability. This record will form a stepping stone toward finer-grained research on MCH and its interdisciplinary intersections. It is also developed as an information resource to facilitate local collaborators in prioritizing site monitoring and developing documentation, management, and mitigation strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-148
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Field Archaeology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 24 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • remote sensing
  • maritime cultural heritage
  • Libya
  • Oman
  • coastal erosin
  • cyclone
  • coastal erosion


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