Archaeological Oceanography is the definitive book on the newly emerging field of deep-sea archaeology. Marine archaeologists have been finding and excavating underwater shipwrecks since at least the early 1950s, but until recently their explorations have been restricted to depths considered shallow by oceanographic standards. This book describes the latest advances that enable researchers to probe the secrets of the deep ocean, and the vital contributions these advances offer to archaeology and fields like maritime history and anthropology.
Renowned oceanographer Robert Ballard — who stunned the world with his discovery of the Titanic deep in the North Atlantic — has gathered together the pioneers of archaeological oceanography, a cross-disciplinary group of archaeologists, oceanographers, ocean engineers, and anthropologists who have undertaken ambitious expeditions into the deep sea. In this book, they discuss the history of archaeological oceanography and the evolution and use of advanced deep-submergence technology to locate and excavate ancient and modern shipwrecks and cultural and other sites deep under water. They offer examples from their own expeditions and explain the challenges future programs face in obtaining access to the resources needed to carry out this important and exciting research.
The contributors are Robert D. Ballard, Ali Can, Dwight F. Coleman, Mike J. Durbin, Ryan Eustace, Brendan Foley, Cathy Giangrande, Todd S. Gregory, Rachel L. Horlings, Jonathan Howland, Kevin McBride, James B. Newman, Dennis Piechota, Oscar Pizarro, Christopher Roman, Hanumant Singh, Cheryl Ward, and Sarah Webster.
Awards and Recognition
- One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2009
Robert D. Ballard, one of the world's foremost deep-sea explorers, is perhaps best known for his discovery of the wreckage of the Titanic in 1985. He is president of the Institute for Exploration in Mystic, Connecticut, and professor of oceanography and director of the Institute for Archaeological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. His many books include The Eternal Darkness: A Personal History of Deep-Sea Exploration (Princeton).
"Archaeological Oceanography is a must-have book for anyone interested in this emerging field. Never has there been a collection of articles as comprehensive as this one. For the first time in a single source are authoritative articles on the technology, field techniques, and even the preservation of these irreplaceable deep-water cultural resources with discussions on ways to bring them to the public's eye. The contributors are experts in their fields and present readable, data-packed overviews. The book will be the standard for many years to come."—Donny Hamilton, Texas A&M University
"An excellent and accessible introduction to the work that Robert Ballard and his colleagues have done in the pioneering field of archaeology in the deep sea. This challenging new domain requires a mix of oceanography, archaeology, and engineering, and this volume shows how the best research seamlessly interweaves the three. A must-read for anyone interested in exploring our sunken past."—David Mindell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"A significant and major contribution. This is a valuable work that will have relevance and importance to professional audiences in the fields of oceanography, deep-sea technology, and public policy in regard to ocean science, robotics, and various subdisciplines of archaeology. This work will be viewed as an essential read, and will become the standard reference."—James P. Delgado, executive director of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology
"This book addresses a subject of very widespread interest among the general public as well as for professional archaeologists and oceanographers. Moreover, the authors are all firsthand experts with considerable experience in the subject matter they describe and discuss."—Patty Jo Watson, professor emerita, Washington University in St. Louis
"There is nothing else like this book. Dr. Ballard and his coauthors have led the way in exploring deep shipwrecks. They are the world leaders in deepwater archaeology. Their credentials are unquestioned. The book will be a significant contribution to the field."—George F. Bass, professor emeritus, Texas A&M University
"There is no doubt that when it comes to the investigation of very deepwater sites, this group has been at the forefront of the technological developments to prospect for and then map such archaeology. A very useful anthology of their work."—Justin Dix, University of Southampton