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Aviation Archaeology: History, Theory, Practice and Direction
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Aviation archaeology as a field of study has struggled with competing academic, professional, and public definitions and priorities since its establishment. In some ways, this sub-discipline of historical or underwater archaeology mirrors the development of nautical archaeology. Like nautical archaeologists who overcame the barrier of the oceans and pioneered methodology to suit, the proponents of aviation archaeology have also used the discipline to overcome a barrier of historical perception and tradition. The practice of aviation archaeology, however, has been characterized by opposing viewpoints and stakeholders often exhibit a non-collaborative attitude towards other groups and sometimes their own colleagues. These stakeholder groups are each focused on their own priorities, be they theory, methodology, conservation, exhibition, or re-use, and each group is arguably attempting to shape the future of aviation archaeology through their projects or publications. This dissertation is a critical evaluation of the current state of aviation archaeology, including its history, stakeholders, literature, and defining projects. This leads to the identification of a series of best practices in aviation archaeology and a theory of interpretation and display of recovered aircraft.
Lickliter-Mundon, Megan Elaine (2018). Aviation Archaeology: History, Theory, Practice and Direction. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from