Deep-Submergence Archaeology

Shelley Wachsmann

in The Oxford Handbook of Maritime Archaeology

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195375176
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Deep-Submergence Archaeology

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Coastal waters represent the greatest danger to ships and seafarers, as ships are most commonly lost at the intersection of water and shore. Ships sinking in deep water undergo a gradual transition. Deep-submergence archaeology refers to the archaeological study of cultural resources beyond the limits of traditional diving. The totality of archaeological exploration at great depths—discovering, recording, excavating, and recovering—requires function-specific tools. Deep Submergence Archaeological Excavations (DSAE) takes advantage of a remarkable existent toolkit, designed for a variety of oceanographic purposes other than the study of ancient shipwrecks. What is lacking at present is a comprehensive methodology for deepwater excavation. The ultimate goal of DSAE is to develop the technologies and the skills that permit expeditions to excavate and safely raise the contents and hull of an entire ship for conservation, study, and display.

Keywords: deep-submergence archaeology; archaeological exploration; Deep Submergence Archaeological Excavations; deepwater excavation; shipwreck excavation; ship conservation

Article.  14150 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeological Methodology and Techniques

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