posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 07:14 PM
Last week I visited an old archaeology buddy in the UK. I got to see what he was working on. He's a pre-computer sorta guy and all the information is
on 3x5 cards, representing 40+ years of work. One of things we were looking at was what sort of database to transfer this info into. Some poor
underfunded student somewhere at Manchester U is going to get a 2-3 year job to do this-the unlucky bastard.
Basically he plotted all the known ship wrecks and correlated that with seabottom information obtained from the NATO navies in the 1970-80s when they
mapped the ocean floor (to make sure they could find Russian subs and not mistake a lump on the bottom as one).
Only a handful of these ships have been excavated.
1,200 that should keep us busy for awhile - he excluded by the way the several thousand more modern wrecks.
They did so by magnetic readings, low or none = ancient, moderate equals a ships with cannons and high, steel or iron hull, modern - rough but
correlated with amphora finds to for ships carries bronze or iron.
Most interesting was how he had tracked the movement of trade. The Eastern Med dominating initially, then a switch to the central med, with grain from
the east going to Italy and wine going the other way. Then a slow switch to wine and other materials starting to come from the western half. Finally a
centuries long slow down that prceeded the fall of Rome. Later a revival when the Arabs came on the seen and a big jump when the Italians states
became active after and during the crusades.