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1,200+ ancient shipwrecks Id in the Mediterranean

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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.

Interesting stuff

posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 02:00 PM

Any plans on excavations? If so, who has the rights ... does the nearest nation lay claim ... contractors ... or the country from which the ship set sail?

Or, is all of this strictly data driven? If so, bless you friend's heart for doing so and, as you said, the gentleman's student/intern for archiving such data for future use.

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