Shipwreck Databases Western Australian Museum

User’s guide to Shipwreck Gallery resources: Thai ceramics, a case study

Author/s J. Craig

Year of publication 2012

Report Number: 31

I entered the Shipwreck Galleries under the supervision of Jeremy Green, Head of the Department of Maritime Archaeology as an intern from March 7th to July 2nd 2012. This opportunity was made possible by the financial support of the Endeavour Executive Award, a merit based grant towards professional development. The ultimate aim of this internship was to become an efficient researcher during the often limited time available for analysis. Achievement of this was broken down into the following three broad categories:

  • how to access Museum resources
  • how to add to Museum resources
  • learn what questions can be asked about the processes of a Museum and appropriate times to do so

This internship developed from a need recognized within my career to learn how to note patterns within a corpus of artefacts. My doctoral thesis is on beads recovered from shipwrecks. I would like to organize beads recovered from underwater sites into thesame chronological-typology structure of categorization as ceramics – so that they too can be yet another tool used for dating a site.

In order to learn the processes of museums, specifically the Department for Maritime Archaeology at the Shipwreck Galleries, Green and I decided to thread a particular focus on ceramics recovered from shipwrecks excavated in Southeast Asian waters.