BREVARD COUNTY • EAU GALLIE, FLORIDA —The Florida Institute of Technology Foosaner Art Museum will present undersea explorer Robert Marx June 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the museum’s Harris Community Auditorium. His free lecture is titled “Underwater Archaeology Around the World.”
Marx will share his life-long odyssey of exploring ancient shipwrecks and sunken cities in over 60 countries. His explorations began at age 13 with the discovery of a California gold rush ship loaded with gold coins and climaxed with his recent excavation of a Spanish galleon lost in 1654 off the coast of Ecuador, netting vast treasures.
He is now preparing for a deep water shipwreck excavation using a manned-submersible near the Azore Islands in the Mid-Atlantic. Read more.
Two shipwrecks believed to be 17th-century Danish warships have emerged along the Stockholm waterfront due to unusually low water levels.
“I was stunned by how big it was,” marine archaeologist Jim Hansson told The Local of the find.
Hansson was out for a stroll along Kastellholmen island with his girlfriend on Sunday, taking in some rare springtime sun, when he noticed a pattern of wooden stumps penetrating the surface.
“If it had only been one or two beams sticking up, I may not have noticed it,” he said.
“But I saw immediately that it was a shipwreck. You could clearly see the bow and the stern.” Read more.
Known as Shipwreck Alley, Thunder Bay in northwest Lake Huron presents a forbidding scene for boaters and captains but a wonder for divers and marine archaeologists. Its chilly bottom is dotted with dozens of wrecks, from 19th-century schooners to passenger-carrying steamboats to steel-moving freighters that have fallen prey to the bay’s unpredictable weather and dangerous shoals.
More than 50 of these historic hulks are protected by the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which was created in 2000 and covers 448 square miles (1,160 square kilometers) off the northeast coast of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Though most are in relatively good shape, thanks to the wreck-friendly freshwater environment of Lake Huron, a new report released by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) finds the sunken ships might be threatened by a tiny menace: invasive mussels. Read more.
The Hamilton and the Scourge — two wooden ships from the War of 1812 — are aging well at the bottom of Lake Ontario, according to surveyors who have been studying the wrecks.
The American schooners, which sank in 1813, lie 90 metres below the surface of the lake, about 10.5 kilometres off Port Dalhousie. The ships have been owned by the City of Hamilton since 1980, but a partnership with Parks Canada allows surveyors to map out every inch of the boats.
“One of the things you have to do in order to safely do archaeological work is to see it on a map,” said Michael McAllister, Hamilton’s coordinator for the survey project.
Using the latest technology, the entire site was mapped out over the course of several years, allowing experts to better determine how risky it would be to take next steps, like recovering artifacts. Read more.
A team of archaeologists from the University of Rhode Island, the Israel Antiquities Authority, and the University of Louisville have discovered the remains of a fleet of early-19th century ships and ancient harbor structures from the Hellenistic period (third to first century B.C.) at the city of Akko, one of the major ancient ports of the eastern Mediterranean. The findings shed light on a period of history that is little known and point to how and where additional remains may be found.
The discoveries were presented on November 15 and 17 in Chicago at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research by URI assistant professors Bridget Buxton and William Krieger on behalf of the Israel Coast Exploration project.
According to Buxton, three of the four well-preserved shipwrecks found off the coast south of Akko were first detected using a sub-bottom profiler in 2011. Later, storms stripped off several meters of inshore sediments and temporarily revealed the wrecks, as well as an additional large vessel. The wrecks are now reburied. Read more.
Alarmed at the looting of historically valuable shipwrecks in the Baltic Sea, German archaeologists have started attaching underwater signs designating them as protected monuments. Hobby divers and trophy hunters are damaging a precious maritime legacy stretching back thousands of years, they warn.
The two-man U-boat was discovered lying at a depth of 18 meters near Boltenhagen off Germany’s Baltic Sea coast in 2000. Its plexiglass turret hatch was intact and closed, which prompted authorities to designate it as a war grave because the crew of the vessel, of a type used by the German navy towards the end of World War II to evade Allied sonar detection and sink ships, was believed to still be inside.
Then someone dived down and removed the hatch in 2002. The local government responded by sealing the gap with a steel plate. But there have since been attempts to break it open. Read more.
UNDAUNTED by the adversities of the economic crisis in this country, a local group of dedicated archaeological researchers continues to probe the hidden secrets and rich maritime history of the Greek seas.
During the summer the sites of six previously undocumented ancient shipwrecks were located by the Southern Euboean Gulf Survey (SEGS), under the direction of nautical archaeologist George Koutsouflakis of the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities (EUA), as first announced on July 25 by the newly consolidated Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports.
Although underwater archaeological investigations usually require larger operating budgets and greater commitments from sponsors and private benefactors than land research projects, Koutsouflakis’ continued efforts and success in learning more about ancient sea traffic and trade patterns around the coasts of southern Evia confirm the old adage that where there is a will, there is a way. Read more.
International action is urgently required to save the world’s historic shipwrecks from the ravages of commercial fishing, experts say.
Industrial trawling, capable of destroying fragile underwater heritage, is occurring on a scale that is creating an archaeological catastrophe comparable to the looting of the National Museum in Baghdad or the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan, they warn. The seabed is often described as the world’s greatest museum but it is estimated that 42 per cent of the globe’s three million wrecks may have been damaged by trawling.
The scale of the devastation means the chances of repeating the recovery of vessels such as the Mary Rose are decreasing, while there are fears that HMS Victory – the 1737 predecessor to Nelson’s flagship – has already been damaged by trawlers in the English Channel and is at risk of total destruction. Read more.