In a recent ISJ paper, ï¿½Island Archaeology: In Search of a New Horizonï¿½, Boomert and Bright (2007) argue that the field of ï¿½island archaeologyï¿½ should be replaced by an ï¿½archaeology of maritime identityï¿½. We disagree and counter that although islands share many physical, biological, and cultural similarities with continental coasts, coastal zones also grade uninterruptedly into riverine, lacustrine, and terrestrial landscapes, raising questions about the validity of their concept of the archaeology of maritime identity. In our view, island archaeology (the application of archaeology to island settings), regardless of past biogeographical underpinnings, has made major contributions to understanding the historical ecology, human impacts, and cultural developments of islands around the world. A focus on islands by archaeologists has encouraged scholars to study the history of island and maritime societies within a comparative framework that is useful for breaking out of the often provincial focus on a single island or archipelago.
|Journal||Island Studies Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|