Multidisciplinary approach in science, how far may we go?

Adolfo Miguel Martins, Antonio Santos, Benat Eguiluz-Miranda and Sara Rich

1University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter Campus, Ceredigion, SA48 7ED; a.martins@uwtsd.ac.uk,

2University Of Nebraska–Lincoln, 140 R Street, Lincoln, NE 68588 and Maritime Archeology LTD, Room W1/95; antoniosantos@fcsh.unl.pt

3University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter Campus, Ceredigion, SA48 7ED; b.eguiluz-miranda@uwtsd.ac.uk

4National Oceanography Centre, Empress Dock, Southampton, SO14 3ZH; sara.rich@maratimearcheology.co.uk

24th March 2016

Abstract

ForSEAdiscovery (EU Marie Curie Actions project) aims to reconstruct past Iberian forestry in relation to shipbuilding from the 16th to 18th centuries. The project comprises fifteen research fellows from diverse academic backgrounds to develop a multidisciplinary approach to data collection from archives, archaeological sites, and forests. The team is divided into three research work packages: history, nautical archaeology, and wood science. Our team of nautical archaeologists have been recording, sampling, and analysing timber from shipwrecks in order to provide other work packages with significant data. In this way, individual research projects are incorporated within the broader aims of ForSEAdiscovery, with the project’s framework resting on this multidisciplinary team and the confluence of different scientific perspectives.

Here we present two case studies of fieldwork during 2015. The Galician case study is based on the data collected from three wooden shipwrecks: an 18th century French corvette, an 18th century Spanish frigate, and a 16th century Spanish galleon. The Portuguese case study investigated the remains of a 16th century Iberian shipwreck washed ashore. These examples demonstrate how a multidisciplinary, international team has approached shared research questions, the lessons that have been learned, and how these can be applied to future multidisciplinary investigations.

Keywords: maritime archaeology, multidisciplinary approach, shipbuilding, computing.