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Beneath the Seven Seas by George F. Bass
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Beneath the Seven Seas

by George F. Bass

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Before I read this book I had no idea nautical archaeology (i.e. shipwreck diving) was so important and so interesting. In spite of the fact that I can only dog-paddle, this book made me want to become a wreck diver. Illustrated throughout with exquisite photographs, the essays detail how the archaeologists battled unpredictable currents, varying visibility, vicious eels, grabby octopuses and the risk of getting the bends in order to rescue historical treasures from their watery grave. (In one instance they found jars of still-liquid wine. They tasted it, but apparently 847 A.D. was not a good wine year.)

All aspects of the field are covered -- from the logistics of deep water diving to the technical details involved in conservation -- and there were wrecks represented in chronological order from all over the world, in both lakes and oceans, from ancient times to the mid-20th century.

I would recommend this to anyone interested in diving, archaeology or history. I had had no idea I would enjoy it as much as I did. ( )
  meggyweg | Jul 11, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0500051364, Hardcover)

Firsthand accounts from around the world of more than forty of the most important shipwreck and sunken-city projects ever undertaken.

From the Pacific to the Mediterranean, from the Caribbean to the Red Sea, from northern Europe and the northern United States to the Indian Ocean, archaeologists vividly describe shipwrecks from centuries past, from the oldest and deepest ever excavated to the remains of battles in both the European and Pacific theaters of World War II.

Readers will dive nearly 200 feet with Cemal Pulak on a royal ship that sank over 3,300 years ago off the Aegean coast of Turkey, and explore with Donny Hamilton the streets and houses of the richest English colony in the New World, the infamous pirate stronghold of Port Royal, Jamaica, swallowed by the sea in 1692. They will accompany famed undersea explorer Robert Ballard, discoverer of the Titanic, as he and Cheryl Ward search for shipwrecks in the deep, oxygen-free waters of the Black Sea. They will wade with archaeologist Fred Hocker through mud along the bank of a South Carolina river, and then sail through a gale with Susan Womer Katzev on a full-scale replica of the best-preserved ancient Greek ship yet raised from the depths of the Mediterranean.

The book describes the tragic loss, within sight of their loved ones, of seamen returning home to Portugal in 1606, at the end of a two-year voyage to the East on the Nossa Senhora dos Martires, and then describes the fate of the crew of another Portuguese ship, the Santo Antonio de Tanna, which sank off Mombasa, Kenya, while trying to lift the siege of Fort Jesus by Omani Arabs in 1697. It describes the foods, games, weapons, tools, and grooming implements on a ship sailed by Bulgarian merchants around AD 1025, carrying as cargo the largest known collections of medieval Islamic glass and glazed pottery. 350 color illustrations.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:31 -0400)

From the Mediterranean to the Pacific, from the Caribbean to the Red Sea, 'Beneath the Seven Seas' takes the reader around the world in first-hand accounts of more than 40 of the most exciting shipwreck and sunken-city projects ever undertaken.

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