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Ship Archaeology

The discovery and exploration of ancient ships by archaeologists has gained renewed interest and excitement with discoveries made over the past decade, thanks in large measure to the advent of new technologies which allow scientists to both search and find sunken ships in deep waters in ways never before possible. For example, an expedition funded by the Discovery Channel yielded explorer Barry Clifford two sunken pirate ships, sunk in 1721 by pirates (Vergano 07D). The ships are thought to be the Fiery Dragon and the Adventure Galley, a ship owned by the notorious Captain Kidd.

Neither of these ships would have been discovered without new technologies that aid explorers and archaeologists in their search for important relics which reveal a great deal of information about ancient cultures and their civilization. As John de Bry, member of the Center for Historical Archaeology and part of the crew that discovered the two pirate vessels, noted in relation to the find “Both ships, especially the Fiery Dragon, represent important finds for historical and archaeological data on pirates” (Vergano 07D). This analysis will focus on these discoveries as well as others that have been made in recent times by archaeologists and scientists searching for sunken ships from past civilizations. Also included will be the new methods and technologies available to archaeologists and scientists to aid in their search. A conclusion will address the significance of such discoveries from an archaeological and contemporary perspective.

In the epics written by Homer, we here tales of ancient mariners roaming far and wide across the Mediterranean. Scholars have doubted such accounts for years as being accurate, but a recent discover of a wreck site 320 kilometers from Cyprus and more than three kilometers deep has begun to change minds “The site has been tentatively dated as 2,3000 years old; it lies amid a graveyard of similar hulks. Clearl...

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Ship Archaeology. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:54, June 24, 2019, from