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The Discovery of Ancient History in the Deep Sea Using Advanced Deep Submergence Technology

Ballard, Robert; McCann, Anna Marguerite; Yoerger, Dana; Whitcomb, Louis L.; Mindell, David; Oleson, John; Singh, Hanumant; Foley, Brendan LU ; Adams, Jonathan and Piechota, Dennis, et al. (2000) In Deep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 47(9). p.1591-1620
Abstract
The Skerki Bank Project was the first interdisciplinary e!ort to determine the importance of the deep sea to the field of archaeology. Over a nine year period from 1988 to 1997, its various field programs resulted in the discovery of the largest concentration of ancient ships ever found in the deep sea. In all, eight ships were located in an area of 210 km2, including five of the Roman era spanning a period of time from 100 B.C. to 400 A.D., documenting the existence of a major trading route in the central Mediterranean Sea between ancient Carthage, Rome, Sicily, and Sardinia. The project involved the use of highly sophisticated deep submergence technologies including towed acoustic and visual search vehicles, a nuclear research submarine,... (More)
The Skerki Bank Project was the first interdisciplinary e!ort to determine the importance of the deep sea to the field of archaeology. Over a nine year period from 1988 to 1997, its various field programs resulted in the discovery of the largest concentration of ancient ships ever found in the deep sea. In all, eight ships were located in an area of 210 km2, including five of the Roman era spanning a period of time from 100 B.C. to 400 A.D., documenting the existence of a major trading route in the central Mediterranean Sea between ancient Carthage, Rome, Sicily, and Sardinia. The project involved the use of highly sophisticated deep submergence technologies including towed acoustic and visual search vehicles, a nuclear research submarine, and an advanced remotely operated vehicle. Precision navigation and control permitted rapid yet careful mapping, both visual and acoustic, of each site with a degree of precision never attained before. Advanced robotics permitted the recovery of selected objects for subsequent analysis without intrusive excavation. This multi-disciplinary e!ort of archaeologists, oceanographers, and ocean engineers demonstrated that deep water archaeology has great promise and can be done without the exploitation of ancient sites for private gains. The Project also demonstrated that in the absence of evolving laws of the sea, a great deal of human history may be at peril. (Less)
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
shipwreck, archaeology, deep water, remotely operated vehicle, nuclear submarine, deep submergence, precision navigation
in
Deep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers
volume
47
issue
9
pages
1591 - 1620
external identifiers
  • scopus:0034042291
ISSN
0967-0637
DOI
10.1016/S0967-0637(99)00117-X
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
4d9e229d-da7e-4e42-8c73-f9ec5639225c
date added to LUP
2018-03-30 20:25:06
date last changed
2018-04-03 16:02:36
@article{4d9e229d-da7e-4e42-8c73-f9ec5639225c,
  abstract     = {The Skerki Bank Project was the first interdisciplinary e!ort to determine the importance of the deep sea to the field of archaeology. Over a nine year period from 1988 to 1997, its various field programs resulted in the discovery of the largest concentration of ancient ships ever found in the deep sea. In all, eight ships were located in an area of 210 km2, including five of the Roman era spanning a period of time from 100 B.C. to 400 A.D., documenting the existence of a major trading route in the central Mediterranean Sea between ancient Carthage, Rome, Sicily, and Sardinia. The project involved the use of highly sophisticated deep submergence technologies including towed acoustic and visual search vehicles, a nuclear research submarine, and an advanced remotely operated vehicle. Precision navigation and control permitted rapid yet careful mapping, both visual and acoustic, of each site with a degree of precision never attained before. Advanced robotics permitted the recovery of selected objects for subsequent analysis without intrusive excavation. This multi-disciplinary e!ort of archaeologists, oceanographers, and ocean engineers demonstrated that deep water archaeology has great promise and can be done without the exploitation of ancient sites for private gains. The Project also demonstrated that in the absence of evolving laws of the sea, a great deal of human history may be at peril.},
  author       = {Ballard, Robert and McCann, Anna Marguerite and Yoerger, Dana and Whitcomb, Louis L. and Mindell, David and Oleson, John and Singh, Hanumant and Foley, Brendan and Adams, Jonathan and Piechota, Dennis and Giangrande, C.},
  issn         = {0967-0637},
  keyword      = {shipwreck,archaeology,deep water,remotely operated vehicle,nuclear submarine,deep submergence,precision navigation},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {9},
  pages        = {1591--1620},
  series       = {Deep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers},
  title        = {The Discovery of Ancient History in the Deep Sea Using Advanced Deep Submergence Technology},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0967-0637(99)00117-X},
  volume       = {47},
  year         = {2000},
}