Challenges, reasons and Interpretation of Underwater Archaeology


Underwater Archaeology



Underwater archaeology is the study of past human life, behaviors and cultures using the physical remains found in salt or fresh water or buried beneath water-logged sediment. It is most often considered as a branch of maritime archaeology. One of the key areas of maritime archaeology is the exploration and preservation of shipwrecks.

Researchers investigating the archaeology of shipwrecks need to understand the processes by which a wreck site is formed so that they can allow for the distortions in the archaeological material caused by the filtering and scrambling of material remains that occurs during and after the wrecking process.

When a ship is wrecked, it suffers many changes of state until the remains eventually reach equilibrium with their environment. Initially, the wrecking process changes it from the human organized form of a working vessel to an unstable state of structure and artefacts underwater.
Natural forces act upon it during the wrecking process and continue to act until equilibrium is reached. Heavy items sink rapidly, lighter items may drift before sinking, while buoyant items may float away completely. This causes a filtering and scrambling of the material remains.
The sudden arrival of a structure on the seabed will change the currents, often resulting in new scour and deposition patterns in the seabed. Once underwater, chemical processes and the action of biological organisms will contribute to the disintegration. At any point in these processes, humans may have intervened, for example by salvaging items of value.

Prior to being wrecked, the ship would have operated as an organized machine, and its crew, equipment, passengers and cargo need to be considered as a system. The material remains should provide clues to the functions of sea-worthiness, navigation and propulsion as well as to ship board life.

Finally the ship as a means of transport can be considered as an element in a geographically dispersed social, political and economic system. Warships impose political will by force; cargo vessels exist in a system of commerce; while passenger carrying vessels give clues to social classes and structure.
Social status may also exist within the ship, for example, between segregated officers and seamen.

Some links of interest:

@ Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology
@ French Archaeology - Ministry of Culture
@ Generality on Underwater Archaeology
@ Ships Exploration Discovery Research
@ SubArch - Discussions concerning Underwater Archaeology
@ New Archaeological Uses of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles
@ A few Questions and Answers about Underwater Archaeology




    • 1. MICHAEL MIFSUD On 04/10/2009
    When one comes across things like this it is difficult to put it down and class it as bunkum. Every piece of ancient material that contains symbols or ancient writings cries out for dedicated research especially since it is a well known fact among researchers that much of world history is fairy tale written up by cynical persuaders who want to control the public mind for political or religious reasons.

    There are many subjects today that need a very close look into including the bible. The possibility that Portugal may be much more interesting than it presently appears to be in the context of world events, is not new. The Templars chose it as their country and the Crown head they installed took it from them to eventually become a republic. There is material there , in areas like Fatima and Tomar which is not far away that has never been looked for. Germans are recorded in Tomar municipality as having taken lorry loads of boxes from the church crypt of the castle in 1942. As such therefore, it would be interesting to know what in fact has led Mr. McNally to make such curious statements. I cannot say much beyond that as a retired high executive of the modern order but there may be more to it than immediately catches the eye. If readers want to check out various relevant articles on under my author name, I would be happy to correspond on possibilities.

    Michael Mifsud.
  • john m.mcnally 3rd.
    can anyone in the world please tell me of a nautical maritime archaeologist who would know about the iberian essene knight templar of moorish spain 7th-9th centuries castle ourem and shipwrecks. found esoteric artscripture that shows where 7 cities made of gold named quivira and cibola have been buried by mankind in the hillside directly beneath castle ourem,portugal. the holy grail,vast amounts of king solomons treasure are stored inside the city named quivira which is buried under soil/earth/dirt.found a fully rigged fore and aft three masted hermaphrodite brigantine shipwreck buried in mud up to her top deck but pre-served in freshwater of the delaware river located in southern delaware county of pennsylvania,united states of america.king alfonso felipe henriques 4th el monge years 899ad-931ad knight templar brotherhood 13.03. found a rather large wooden made world navigational map and "key"that will open a secret door that leads to the three hidden mine shafts where king solomons treasure will be found stored directly beneath castle ourem,portugal. jesus christ was crucified in the country of portugal and not in the country of israel.jesus christ burial is to be found in the city made of gold named quivira!esoteric artscripture found. can prove of this . if anyone is interested please e-mail respectfully,john m.mcnally 3rd.

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