Underwater Archaeology Essay

2210 words - 9 pages

For over one hundred and fifty years inquiries and research projects, some more beneficial than others, have been made into the preserved remains of lake dwellings found across Europe. The unique discoveries of pile dwellings in Lake Zurich in 1854 ignited the frantic search for more prehistoric sites, attracting interest from antiquarians seeking to better our understanding of the past (Menotti, 2004). Hundreds of new sites were found and the works of early archaeologists like Munro and Keller provided a written record for the future. Ethnographic sources from the latter half of the 19th Century shaped the early interpretations, creating a romantic picture of Neolithic societies that inhabited these lacustrine dwellings (Fig. 1). It would be over fifty years before these theories could be contested, with the development of scientific and archaeological techniques that allowed for professional research to be conducted. Diving opened up the possibility of surveying and excavating underwater sites without having to remove the water and its preservative characteristics. Mainstream archaeologists still find it difficult to accept that archaeological work can be successfully performed underwater, but the methods and techniques used to survey and excavate the lake dwellings of Scotland have proved the contrary.

Although evidence for lake dwelling societies in Europe has been known as far back as Herodotus (Dixon 2004, 18), no systematic investigation into these sites occurred before the second half of the 19th Century. The winter of 1853-4 was harsh enough to leave the lake levels of Lake Zurich in Switzerland unusually low. Inhabitants trying to reclaim the land discovered wooden piles along with other prehistoric artefacts, including bone, wood and metal tools (Fig. 2). Investigations by Dr Ferdinand Keller, the leading antiquarian of the region, based more on the ethnographic evidence from New Guinea (Dixon, 2004, 28, Munro 1886, 454) than on archaeological excavation, concluded that the prehistoric people of Ober-Meilen built houses and other structures on piles right over the water, far from the shore. After this discovery many more sites in Switzerland, Germany, Poland, France, and Italy were recorded and artefacts collected or stolen (Munro 1886, 455). The techniques used may have been basic and rather makeshift; workers were employed to dig out a drained site, images made of the timber structures and many artefacts thrown away as rubbish (Dixon 1991, 2). These methods do not conform to modern archaeological practices but information was kept and provides a first step into lake-dwelling research (Morrison 1985). Many sites, of course, suffered irreversible damage after being exposed to the elements, or lost completely (Petrequin 1988, 7).

Nearly seventy years passed before Keller’s interpretation of the Neolithic lake-dwellings was contested (Menotti 2004). A reinterpretation of the original view, that the Swiss Lake-dwellings were...

Find Another Essay On Underwater Archaeology

Archeology: Our Own Time Machine Essay

2594 words - 10 pages efforts in both science and law. Shipwrecks and other underwater archaeology sites are important pieces of our historical puzzle. They can tell us more about ourselves than we have known previously. Ship wrecks capture pieces of history and should be studied extensively. Fragile and hard to find, yet crucial to understanding past civilizations that we know little about, these shipwrecks deserve our careful attention and a high degree of

from brazen archaeologist to an institute of study

1681 words - 7 pages enthusiasts, or stumbled upon by commercial divers it was not until 1960’s that the scientific process of underwater archaeology was put into practice. In 1960’s George bass and his team of scientists traveled to Cape Gelidonya in Turkey, to perform the world’s first scientific excavation of a shipwreck. This project being the first of its kind, Bass and his team needed to take existing terrestrial archaeological processes and alter them for their

The Pitts River Basin

838 words - 4 pages There are several ways to interpret for the variability in archaeological data in the Pitts River Basin of northwestern Australia, but first, the history and the archaeology must be exhibited. The entire site used to be underwater because the ocean levels had not stabilized 5000 years ago, so a lot of artifacts surfaced once the levels stabilized and the land dried up. In the basin, there were two types of people who were very contemporary. This

Conflict, Looting and the Law

2012 words - 9 pages which makes private claims in national courts possible. UNESCO added the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage which extends the protection of heritage to the seabed. Similar to the other conventions neither Iraq, US nor the UK are party to the convention so although it is well intentioned it is not of relevance for the recovery of Iraqi artefacts. For example, only 126 nations have ratified the 1954 Convention and

Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator: The Queen of Wit

1659 words - 7 pages - archaeology/biography/cleopatra.html “Exploring the Underwater ruins of Cleopatra’s Palace.” Foxnews.com. Last modified May 26, 2010. http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/05/25/divers-explore-ruins-cleopatras-palace/ Harold, Lindsay, Cate Henefin, Kerri Anton, and Kristen Duca. "The Influence of Context on the Leadership of Cleopatra." Christopher Newport University. Access March 31, 2014. http://cnu.edu/leadershipreview/pdf/v2 i1 harold.pdf

Justify the cost involved in conservation and restoration techniques applied in two australian maritime archaeological projects - AHS/chemistry - Research paper

1178 words - 5 pages Maritime archaeology is the scientific study of underwater cultural heritage and related land-based sites. Shipwrecks are a special kind of archaeological site which have been compared to time capsules. Objects salvaged from shipwrecks may have important historical and educational value. The engine from the shipwreck of the SS Xantho and cannons from The HMS Endeavour are two maritime archaeological projects that have been conserved and

Designing A Degree

2082 words - 8 pages successfully finding jobs directly related to their unique studies. Individualized-study student, Anna Rogers, was very interested in the mysteries of the ocean floor, so she created underwater archaeology as a major. After graduating in 2011, she planned to pursue a career in preserving undersea artifacts and tourist sites. Megan Kolb, another individualized-study student, was interested in music, theater, dance and the production of stage shows

Is Beowulf an Heroic Elegy or an Epic Narrative?

4846 words - 19 pages attacks the first night, she “grabbed 30 warriors” and “returned the following night” for more. When Grendel’s Mother attacks, “countless warriors” are guarding the hall, yet she kills Hrothgar’s best warrior and escapes unharmed. In his pursuit of her, Beowulf swims underwater “a good part of a day before he found the bottom.” In the Geat land the dragon is guarding her cave 300 winters. Beowulf goes to face her 50 feet of flame and claw with 30

Herodotus: Greek Historian

7827 words - 31 pages 490 B.C. in what is now known as Bodrum, Turkey. He had one brother, Theodorus. Bodrum was known as Halicarnassus in ancient times and was the site of King Mausolus' Tomb (4th Century B.C.), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In the harbor, the Bodrum Castle, or the medieval castle of St. Peter, is an excellent example of 15th century crusader architecture, and has been converted into the Museum of Underwater Archeology, with remains

When the Bubble Burst

1539 words - 6 pages By the time I arrived state side from my second tour in the Middle East the housing bubble had already burst. I noticed a drastic change in the way that many of my friends and family were living. Several of my friends that worked in real estate had sold their boats and seconds houses. My own stock portfolio had lost a third of its value. My sister and her husband had defaulted on their home mortgage leaving them scrambling for a place to live. I

phase diagram

4456 words - 18 pages Introduction: Chemical equilibrium is a crucial topic in Chemistry. To represent and model equilibrium, the thermodynamic concept of Free energy is usually used. For a multi-component system the Gibbs free energy is a function of Pressure, Temperature and quantity (mass, moles) of each component. If one of these parameters is changed, a state change to a more energetically favorable state will occur. This state has the lowest free energy

Similar Essays

The Ulu Burun Shipwreck: Underwater Archaeology At Its Finest

1545 words - 6 pages deep depths of the ocean. As a result, the branch of underwater archaeology was created to search for shipwrecks and other artifacts on the ocean floor. Underwater archaeology’s role has increased in recent years as it allows archaeologists to more accurately interpret the past by supplementing information gained through traditional land excavations. A prime example of the possible contributions of underwater archaeology is the Ulu Burun shipwreck

Anthropology: The Origins Of Anthropology Anthro 102 Outline

879 words - 4 pages . Egyptology 3. Biblical Archaeology 4. Underwater Archaeology 5. Historical Archaeology 6. Prehistoric Archaeology C. Prehistory 1. Definition of Prehistory 2. Appearance and Nature of Earliest Written Documents 3. Biases of History D. Archaeology as Anthropology 1. Definition of Anthropology 2. Four Subfields of Anthropology a. Biological Anthropology b. Cultural Anthropology c. Linguistic Anthropology d. Anthropological Archaeology 3

Show The Relationship Between Archaeology And History And Archaeology And Anthropology

1304 words - 5 pages Illustrated History of Archaeology, Cambridge; Cambridge University PressBlot, Jean-Yves1996 Underwater Archaeology, tr. Alexandra Campbell, New York; Harry N. Abrams Inc. (first published in French 1995)Garden, Glen1980 Life B.C., London; Heinemann Educational Books Ltd.Renfrew, Colin; Bahn, Paul2004 Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice, 4th edn., London; Thames and Hudson Ltd.

Underwater Wireless Communication With Acoustic Waves

1221 words - 5 pages inside water and are very fast than radio waves. The concept of underwater wireless communication is a major finding in the field of wireless communications. Applications include discovery of natural resources, marine phenomena, deep-sea archaeology, oceanographic data collection etc WORKING For the working of underwater wireless communication, the acoustic waves are used commonly, which can travel longer distance. But