Culture and heritage

Maritime heritage

Evaluate the significance of shipwrecks

Use the following criteria to describe a shipwreck in your area or from the shipwreck database. You could even practice on a non-shipwreck object if this is more convenient.

The evaluation criteria used to assess the significance of historic shipwrecks are containedin Guidelines for the Management of Australia's Shipwrecks produced by the Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology and the Australian Cultural Development Office in 1994. These can be found below, on Group A and Group B pages.

Historic shipwreck evaluation criteria

(Based on Guidelines for the Management of Australia's Shipwrecks, Australian Institute for maritime Archaeology and the Australian Cultural Development Office, Canberra, 1994)

Evaluation Criteria provide a means for assessing and describing the significance of shipwrecks and to identify attributes that should be retained. The criteria of Group A describe the nature of significance and the criteria in Group B describe degree.

A shipwreck should be evaluated initially in terms of the individual criteria. Subsequently, a concise Statement of Significance will summarise major attributes. The Statement of Significance serves as a guide to the development of appropriate management strategies.

Evaluation procedure

  1. Identification of archival information about the ship and/or wreck site;
  2. Conduct of a wreck inspection by an authorised maritime archaeologist, preferably accompanied by a qualified on-site conservator;
  3. Application of the evaluation criteria to assess the significance of the site by identifying attributes describing:
  4. Development of a concise Statement of Significance that draws together the major attributes of the site described in (c) above.
Page last updated: 31 August 2012