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Transcript of Underwater Archeology
Early life – counselor for United Nations and Foreign Ministry
Excavated several shipwrecks, ship junk, and underwater cities
Visiting Lecturer for Oxford Center for Maritime Archeology where he recruits for his archeological sites.
His team includes members of a wider variation of backgrounds that include archeologists, historians, geologists, geophysicists, computer engineers, and Egyptologists.
"Maritime archaeology is the branch of archaeology that deals with any archaeological materials related to the marine environment" ( Sutton, 2003).
Who is he?
Ed Von Der Porten's "Sixteenth-Century Manila Galleon Cargos on the American West Coast."
Ancient trade Routes
Eastern Port of Alexandria
Main work is off the coast of Egypt in Alexandria’s eastern harbor and Aboukir bay
Excavated two sunk cities (Thonis-Heracleion & Canopus)
Found rising sea level & possible earthquakes contributed to submergence of these cities
Discovery of trade routes linked to artifacts found in excavation sites around the world
This is a statue of a sphinx that is believed to represent Ptolemy Xii
This is a statue found in the Alexandria harbor opposite the island of Antilrhodos. The head piece dates to the 1st century BC.
shipwreck in the port of the island of Anithrodos. Wood and parts of cargo indicate this wreck dates back to 1st Century BC. The metal grid allows researchers to record data.
Why Is Underwater Archeology Important?
Provides insight into the past (our culture/past culture)
We can see how people lived, learn about their technology.
Also, studying how ships wrecked has lead to safer marine navigation (lighthouses, dangerous currents, safety beacons)
" Porcelains, together with iron ships' spikes, sherds of water jars, and a few other objects" ( Aker 65).
By painting alone they could tell who the intended market was for these porcelain. ex. fish above a net were for the japanese and fish without a net were for the chinese.
What was found?
Cargo from Francis Drake's 16th century Manila galleon .
Drake's Bay , San Francisco California
Who is he?
Robert Ballard is a deep-sea archaeologist. He is a former commander in the United States Navy Reserve. Is a professor of oceanography and director of the Institute for Archaeological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. He is best known for discovering the wreck of the RMS titanic in 1985. In his career he has conducted over 100 deep-sea expeditions. Ballard has accomplished a lot in his life and has earned 16 honorary degrees, he has also published 18 books and numerous scientific papers and articles.
This city dates back to before the creation of Alexandria in 331 BC. It completely sunk into the Mediterranean by the 8th century AD. Before discovery in 2000 this city was not very well heard of from few records found on land. The city now lays 6.5 kilometers from the coastline.
Artifacts recovered show a rich culture of art and history. Here they discovered the grand temple of Amun along with statues, jewelry, coins, ceramics and numerous ship wrecks. It was determined that this city was a international hub for trade which controlled all trade for Egypt during its time period.
This statue recovered represents the God Hapi who is the God of flooding of the Nile river.
This is a bronze statue of a pharoh from the 26th dynasty found at the temple of Amon.
From the Ptolemaic era this statue likely represents Queen Cleopatra II or Cleopatra II dressed as the goddess Isis
The city was named after a unfortunate sailor who died from a viper bite. The city was noted for sanctuaries of Osiris and Serapis and had many pilgrims visiting it for healing. The Goddess Osiris was transported via barque in procession between this city and Hercleion
Animal foot prints found under sand
Airbags used to life a granite Spinx
Of course his best know discovery is the RMS Titanic. Ballard also succeeded in tracking down and investigating numerous shipwrecks including the German ship Bismark and the wreck of RMS Lusitania. His most recent discovery was locating the remains of the PT-109 that was piloted by John F. Kennedy and sunk in world war 2.
His Continuing a project in the Black sea seeking evidence of a great flood that may have struck the region thousands of years ago, linked to the Noah's Ark legend. Hes looking for evidence to show the events of the biblical flood was based on real events
Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC. It is noted for the Pharaohs lighthouse and huge libraries. Over time natural disasters such as earthquakes and tidal waves have collapse parts of the cities losing monuments and culture to the sea.
Analysis of the wood in this wreck indicate the ship was built in the Philippines. 15 thousand artifacts were recovered that date to the Ming Dynasty. This is an unusual trade route that shows people in the Philippines were rich enough to afford quality china which rivaled belief that that area only provided cheap ceramics.
Santa Cruz Junk - Phillippines
Porcelain Plates and Bowls
section of the hull showing a compartment
2013 Sunken Civilizations. Electronic Document,
civilizations/heracleion.html, accessed September 22.
2013 Robert Ballard. Electronic Document,
www.uri.edu/new/ballard, accessed September 22.
Sutton, Mark, and Robert Yohe. Archaeology: The Science If the Human Past. N.p.:
Prentice, 2003. Print.
Aker, Raymond, and Edward Von Der Porten. "Discovering Francis Drake's California
Harbor." National Historic Landmark (2012): 1-72. Print.
shipwrecks are a huge subject studied by underwater archeologists. They contain artifacts that allow us to understand what culture they could have come from. They can teach us their nations economy and who might have been on that ship, either men and women, who built the ship and who sailed it. Underwater archeologists gain a better understanding with the advancing technology which is shaping world history and human culture. All of Archeological sites on land and/ or underwater are cultural resources that have scientific, historical, educational, and recreational values.
Maritime archeology studies human interaction with the sea, lakes and rivers by excavating physical remains such as shore-side buildings, vessels, cargoes, human remains, port-related structures and submerged landscapes.
Underwater archeology also studies changes in the sea level caused by earthquakes, also, wide spread climatic changes such as places that were land but are now water.
“Through the study of shipwrecks, cargoes, armaments, equipment, and personal possessions of the crews and passengers, archaeologists are gaining a better understanding of the important role of maritime commerce, exploration, and marine technology in shaping world history and human culture.”
Akko is a Mediterranean coastal city defined as being historically important. It's been functioning for upwards of 5,000 years and has been one of the main maritime focus points in the eastern Mediterranean. Akko Harbor is located in Israel, and some researchers suggest it was built as two basins.
One of the things they found plenty of during the excavations were pottery vessels, and those indicated that there was considerable trade along the Mediterranean coast, along with Aegean.
Archaeological studies have produced an abundance of information about the maritime base of it's economy, along with the history of the city. And today, it's simply an enjoyable fisherman's harbor.
Map of Akko Port
Hellenisitc pottery vessel