Marine archaeology expeditions
exciting field of marine archaeology
Marine archaeology, also known as underwater archaeology, is the science of exploring underwater archaeological relics and finds. Maritime archaeologists map, recover and preserve sunken ships, ports, cities, and submerged landmasses. The scientific subdiscipline of marine archaeology that deals specifically with research into the construction and use of sunken ships and aircraft is referred to as nautical archaeology.
Only 5% of all the oceans and seas have been explored and cartographically mapped.
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We look forward to your research proposals in the exciting field of marine archaeology.
Become a marine archaeologist
archaeological Citizen Science expeditions
nautically valuable archaeological finds
A particular challenge in archaeological Citizen Science expeditions in search of wrecks is the shipworm. This creature permanently damages wood and organic ship components. For this reason, only remnants of old wooden ship hulls lying on the seabed are usually preserved. More usable data are provided by the ship cargoes of the wrecks, some of which reveal well-preserved metals (gold, copper, lead), clay and ceramics.
In diving areas of the former Byzantium, Mesopotamia and Mauritania in particular, marble and stone statues transported by ships can be found on the seabed. Examples of nautically valuable archaeological finds include the shipwrecks of Ulu Burun or Yassi Ada.
more than 3000 shipwrecks undiscovered
mapping and surveying of wrecks
To prevent damage, finds salvaged from the seabed must first be preserved in the same salt water after salvage and then protected from oxygen in a complex chemical procedure. Often the goal of nautical archaeological expeditions is not salvage, but rather a mapping and surveying of the wreck.
When searching for wrecks at great water depths in particular, underwater archaeology makes use of diving robots and ROVs (Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicles) to provide support. Current estimates suggest that more than 3000 shipwrecks and plane wrecks still lie undiscovered on the seabed.
Crashed airplanes are hidden witnesses
rare insights into the history of aviation
Crashed airplanes are also hidden witnesses and reveal historically valuable items in their cargo. They provide rare insights into the history of aviation and are often surprisingly well preserved, especially in arctic or polar regions.
A team of researchers spent three summers searching for the first aircraft to be used during an Antarctic expedition. The single-engine Vickers crashed during geologist Douglas Mawson's first Australian Antarctic expedition in 1912.