Doctor in Archaeology (PhD) Velentza Ekaterini

108000 €

Re-imagining the use of traditional watercraft in the Aegean Sea for a sustainable environment and economy

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Kolmivuotinen

This project envisages the use of traditional Aegean watercraft as a step towards a more sustainable environment and economy. The main research questions are: why did the use of traditional watercraft fade in the Aegean region, what was the impact of this disappearance on the local society, economy and environment, what would be required for the potential re-introduction of traditional boats in the Aegean Sea and what would be the socio-economic and environmental benefits of that action? The project will firstly document the changes in the use of traditional watercraft in the Aegean Sea, in Greece, and particularly the shift from wooden non-fuel boats to polluting motor-boats as it occurred during the 20th and 21st centuries. Secondly, the research will determine the socio-political circumstances that led to this transition, as well as the impact that this change in watercraft had on the local economies, the coastal communities and the marine environment of the Aegean Sea. Finally, the project will assess the possibility of a successful re-introduction of traditional watercraft. The social impact, the reaction of the local communities to such re-establishment, as well as the positive outcomes for the creation of sustainable local economies that preserve the natural marine environment will be issues of major importance. This project combines concepts from the fields of maritime history and archaeology, maritime ethnography and anthropology, as well as environment sustainability and marine conservation. This interdisciplinary research in the re-introduction of traditional watercraft in the Aegean will present a case of modern adoption of past lifestyles in the pursuit of sustainable environment and economies due to the current climate emergency. The scope of the project will highlight the role of humanities and archaeology in the crisis and global challenges humanity is facing at present. Recording and learning about the past can help to build a better future.