At the Crossroads: Maritime Systems in Transition and the Elizabeth City Ships' Graveyard, North Carolina.
(Under the direction of Dr. Nathan Richards) Department of History, April 2010
The Elizabeth City Ships' Graveyard in the Pasquotank River represents the largest assemblage of deliberately discarded watercraft found in North Carolina to date. Applying Annales School principles to the abandonment complex surrounding Elizabeth City, this research aims to illuminate the city's historic maritime interaction on Braudel's three levels of history, the longue durée, conjonctures, and l'histoire événementielle. Grounded in a behavioral/ psychological theoretical framework, this research will also provide an analysis of the abandonment complex's site formation and abandonment processes. This thesis will attempt to assess the potential of a combined Behavioral-Annales theoretical approach for supplementing Elizabeth City's established maritime history, expanding archaeologists' knowledge on abandonment patterns seen throughout North Carolina, and contributing to existing worldwide archaeological research on abandoned vessels.