Iron and Steamship Archaeology: Success and Failure on the SS Xantho / Edition 1

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In the early 1980s the author was asked to investigate the newly discovered wreck of the Xantho, an iron screw steamship active off the Australian coast during the period 1848 to 1872, and to develop a strategy to stop the looting that was occurring at the site. This relatively straightforward assignment turned into a long-term research program for applying maritime archaeology to the conservation of iron-hulled wrecks.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'McCarthy has done an outstanding job detailing an excavation form first notification to the last conservation stages. This might serve well as a text in maritime archaeology theory, maritime history, or conversation courses. All collections.'
Choice, 38:11 (2001)
McCarthy, of the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Fremantle, headed a site management project begun in 1983 to protect the wrecked steamship (1848-72). This study represents a landmark in modern maritime archeology by linking underwater archaeologists, biologists, and corrosion specialists for site and lab analyses. The author, who wrote his master's thesis on Captain Broadhurst, provides context for the ship and its captain. Includes photos of ships and shipwrecks, diagrams of their equipment, 19th century charts of Western Australia, information on horsepower, and wages/salaries current in 1870. The extensive bibliography includes archival documents. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306463655
  • Publisher: Springer US
  • Publication date: 1/31/2001
  • Series: The Springer Series in Underwater Archaeology
  • Edition description: 2000
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 234
  • Product dimensions: 0.69 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. Preface. 1. Description, Analysis and Explanation. 2. The Context of the Find. 3. A Wealth of Information. 4. Processes in Wrecksite Analysis. 5. Post-Depositional Processes. 6. The Archival and Material Record at Odds. 7. Excavation Processes. 8. Deconcretion: Excavation and Experiment. 9. Iron Wrecks as Archaeological Sites. 10. Appendix 1: Horsepower. 11. Appendix 2: Wages and Salaries in 1870. 12. Bibliography.

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