The project ‘Underwater Ethnoarchaeology of the Lower Oder. Preliminary Research of Shipwrecks in the Selected Sections of the River’ is funded by the National Science Centre, Poland (grant no. 2018/02/X/HS3/00475) and carried by the University of Szczecin (West Pomerania, Poland) in the time period of 2018–2019. It assumes application of information gathered during ethnological fieldwork for the use of underwater archaeology. During structured interviews with representatives of social groups related by occupation or hobby to the Lower Oder (e.g. seamen, fishermen, divers, anglers, sailors etc.) the data concerning any known wrecks is being gathered – along with the broad context: spatial (localization, position, orientation) and socio-cultural (toponymy, beliefs, convictions of types and provenience of sunken watercrafts). On this basis sections of the river were selected, with the highest number of located wreck sites. These areas were prospected with the use of side-scan sonar and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The next stage of research (for now yet unaccomplished) is the elaboration of bathymetric maps. The spatial analysis of the data gathered this way will be used to designate areas for underwater archaeological research. It will consist of making the photographic and video documentation during diving reconnaissance, and then descriptive and graphic documentation of selected wreck sites. The results of the ethnological fieldwork allowed determining not only the areas where wrecks are located, but also their socio-cultural context – how they are functioning in the consciousness of people residing by the Lower Oder. On the other hand, the results of archaeological fieldwork will enable to verify the accuracy of convictions and beliefs regarding shipwrecks, and also determine the scope and methods of further research upon discovered underwater archaeological sites.
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