WAVES ACROSS THE PAST: Adventures in Underwater Archaeology by Richard B. Lyttle

WAVES ACROSS THE PAST: Adventures in Underwater Archaeology

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Bland, drawn-out accounts of key episodes in the development of underwater archaeology--from sponge divers and cumbersome, surface-tethered gear through the scuba-diving revolution to latter-day scientific excavations and treasure hunts. Alongside the exciting, perfectly accessible reports of Cousteau and Robert Marx (both of whom, perforce, figure importantly here), Lyttle's text is dull indeed--with much clichÉd historical background (""humble"" villages, ""dusty"" history books), lots of vapid storytelling (of the ""Old Christiani had a secret"" ilk), and merely-serviceable explanations of the technological innovations. A drawback, in all respects, is the absence of photographs. (The pencil drawings are as feeble, for the most part, as the text.) But attention to aspects of the subject not usually covered--in particular, the excavation of wells, lakes, and rivers (with the equipment and techniques special to each)--gives the book potential as a source of all-inclusive information. Ordinarily, though, one would imagine an interested Cousteau reader spurning this for the adult titles that are Lyttle's sources.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1982
Publisher: Atheneum