Ships from the Depths: Deepwater Archaeology

Overview

Deepwater archaeology uncovers secrets from the ancient maritime past . . . Thousands of shipwrecks and archaeological sites lie undiscovered in deep water, potentially holding important clues to our maritime past. Scientists have explored only a small percentage of the oceans' depths, as 98 percent of the seabed lies well beyond the reach of conventional diving.
 Ships from the Depths surveys the dramatic advances in technology over the last few years that have ...

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Overview

Deepwater archaeology uncovers secrets from the ancient maritime past . . . Thousands of shipwrecks and archaeological sites lie undiscovered in deep water, potentially holding important clues to our maritime past. Scientists have explored only a small percentage of the oceans' depths, as 98 percent of the seabed lies well beyond the reach of conventional diving.
 Ships from the Depths surveys the dramatic advances in technology over the last few years that have made it possible for scientists to locate, study, and catalogue archaeological sites in waters previously inaccessible to humans. Researcher and explorer Fredrik Søreide presents the development of deepwater archaeology since 1971, when Willard Bascom designed his Alcoa Seaprobe to locate and raise deepwater wrecks in the Mediterranean. Accompanied by descriptions and color photographs of deepwater projects and equipment, this book considers not only techniques that have been developed for location and observation of sites but also removal and excavation methods distinctive to these unique locations, far beyond the reach of scuba gear.
 Søreide provides an introduction to and survey of the history, development, and potential of this exciting branch of nautical archaeology. Scholars and field archaeologists will appreciate this handy compendium of the current state of the discipline and technology, and general readers will relish this comprehensive look at the challenges and opportunities associated with locating and studying historical and ancient shipwrecks in some of the world’s deepest waters.

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Editorial Reviews

Galveston Daily News

"The result has been a treasure trove of information that reveals shipbuilding throughout history and how people lived in earlier times. . . it presents a unique view into an intriguing field of research. . . 'Ships From the Depths' will fascinate those with an interest in the sea and the history of the sea." — Mark Lardas, Galveston Daily News

— Mark Lardas

CHOICE

Sureide (Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology) offers an introduction to how underwater archaeological sites, predominantly shipwrecks, are studied in water depths normally beyond scuba diving range. His text focuses on the processes of doing deepwater archaeology, from research planning phases to searching, finding, surveying, and excavating shipwrecks; it also touches upon postproject data processing and legal and ethical issues. The book largely outlines a history of deepwater archaeology, paying attention to a number of well-known shipwrecks examined by archaeologists and treasure hunters, before concentrating on two areas. First, Sureide describes a cross-section of site types investigated by weepwater expeditions, following their history and discussing their age, potential identity, and construction details, along with the working conditions experienced by researchers (reciting depth of site and seabed characteristics). Second, the author ventures into a more detailed overview of some of the tools available for deep-sea archaeological work, from types of remote sensing instrumentation (such as sonar, multibeam sonar, magnetometry, and stereophotogrammetry) to categories of platform (including autonomous and remotely operated vehicles), as well as position-fixing tools (geographical positioning systems and short and long baseline systems).-- N.T. Richards, East Carolina University

— N.T. Richards, East Carolina University

International Journal of Maritime History

"...beautifully illustrated book...the first comprehensive, integrated treatment of the subject...stimulating book..."--John Peter Oleson, International Journal of Maritime History

— John Peter Oleson

The Northern Mariner

"The overall format of the book provides sufficient detail on certain aspects of deepwater archaeology to satisfy professionals in the field, while still remaining accessible to non-specialists. The volume provides a good review of recent deepwater projects, and excellent discussions of photographic and visual documentation techniques and excavation methods. This volume serves as a much-needed opening in the discussion of what constitutes deepwater archaeology."
--Amanda M. Evans, The Northern Mariner

— Amanda M. Evans

Galveston Daily News - Mark Lardas
"The result has been a treasure trove of information that reveals shipbuilding throughout history and how people lived in earlier times. . . it presents a unique view into an intriguing field of research. . . 'Ships From the Depths' will fascinate those with an interest in the sea and the history of the sea." — Mark Lardas, Galveston Daily News
CHOICE - N.T. Richards
Sureide (Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology) offers an introduction to how underwater archaeological sites, predominantly shipwrecks, are studied in water depths normally beyond scuba diving range. His text focuses on the processes of doing deepwater archaeology, from research planning phases to searching, finding, surveying, and excavating shipwrecks; it also touches upon postproject data processing and legal and ethical issues. The book largely outlines a history of deepwater archaeology, paying attention to a number of well-known shipwrecks examined by archaeologists and treasure hunters, before concentrating on two areas. First, Sureide describes a cross-section of site types investigated by weepwater expeditions, following their history and discussing their age, potential identity, and construction details, along with the working conditions experienced by researchers (reciting depth of site and seabed characteristics). Second, the author ventures into a more detailed overview of some of the tools available for deep-sea archaeological work, from types of remote sensing instrumentation (such as sonar, multibeam sonar, magnetometry, and stereophotogrammetry) to categories of platform (including autonomous and remotely operated vehicles), as well as position-fixing tools (geographical positioning systems and short and long baseline systems).— N.T. Richards, East Carolina University
International Journal of Maritime History - John Peter Oleson
"...beautifully illustrated book...the first comprehensive, integrated treatment of the subject...stimulating book..."—John Peter Oleson, International Journal of Maritime History
The Northern Mariner - Amanda M. Evans
"The overall format of the book provides sufficient detail on certain aspects of deepwater archaeology to satisfy professionals in the field, while still remaining accessible to non-specialists. The volume provides a good review of recent deepwater projects, and excellent discussions of photographic and visual documentation techniques and excavation methods. This volume serves as a much-needed opening in the discussion of what constitutes deepwater archaeology." —Amanda M. Evans, The Northern Mariner
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Product Details

Meet the Author

FREDRIK SØREIDE is a professor in the department of archaeology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway, and vice president of ProMare, a U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting marine research and exploration throughout the world.

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