Although the ocean bottom may still hold untold fortunes in silver and gold, the past itself is the sea's real treasure. Maritime archaeology, like its landlocked cousin, reconstructs the everyday lives of real people from the wreckage of the past. Salvaged from the ravages of time and human destruction and miraculously resurrected by scientific techniques, cargoes, personal belongings, and the very timbers of the ships themselves reveal astonishing details about our ancestors and their lives. As scholar-diver Peter Throckmorton puts it, "It has become the destiny of ships that did not arrive to tell the story of those that did."
An international team of experts recounts the stories of thrilling discoveries at key wreck sites from the Bronze Age to the 20th century. Reconstructions of lost ships and photographs of fascinating relics, from Homer's Greece to the Titanic, relate the stories of the ships, as well as their impact on trade, exploration, warfare, and an increasingly shrinking world. A final chapter examines how sophisticated underwater probes and salvage techniques will allow divers to locate future wrecks, examine them in detail, and raise them or the artifacts they carried, shedding light on long-forgotten voyages. 9 1/4" x 11 1/2". Photos, maps, and reconstructions in color & b&w. 240pp.