The Shore Is a Bridge

The Maritime Cultural Landscape of Lake Ontario

978-1-62349-605-0 Hardcover (Printed Case)
8.5 x 11. 304 pp. 22 b&w photos. 4 line art. 21
Pub Date: 02/27/2018
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With humans moving easily from water to land, the archaeology of the shore should likewise be seamless. This principle of the “seamlessness” of human interaction with the maritime environment undergirds author Ben Ford’s sweeping survey. In The Shore Is a Bridge: The Maritime Cultural Landscape of Lake Ontario, Ford explores human interaction with the waters of the lake, spanning the international border, from 5,000 years ago to the early twentieth century. He interprets written and archaeological sources using a maritime cultural landscape approach to investigate how the perception of place influences the interaction between humans and the physical environment. Ford focuses on the lake shore, which served as a link between the maritime and terrestrial worlds of the people who lived around it.

Lake Ontario was the first of the Great Lakes to be developed by Europeans, and it was part of the home ranges of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), the Huron-Wendat, and the Mississauga, as well as other Native American groups known only from their archaeological remains. Consequently, Lake Ontario was at the heart of early Great Lakes maritime culture. Using terrestrial and submerged archaeological methods, history, and ethnography, the author meticulously weaves together previously disparate data to construct a cohesive and holistic understanding of this important region from ancient to modern times. The Shore Is a Bridge presents a new way to interpret the maritime archaeological record and maritime culture by synthesizing archaeological data, historical documents, and oral histories into an all-inclusive view of the lakeshore.

Ed Rachal Foundation Nautical Archaeology Series

Published by Texas A&M University Press