SUNKEN HISTORY by Robert Silverberg


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The author of Lost Cities and Vanished Civilizations (1962 p.150) has a deft touch with the popularization of archeological matters. It is made up (in almost equal parts) of the history and techniques of underwater exploration and the tremendous archeological finds that SCUBA diving and mechanical dredging have made possible since the 20th Century. After establishing the reasons for archeological excavation of any kind -- not objets d'art and treasure, but additions to man's knowledge of his part --it goes on to ancient shipwrecks, submerged shore areas, sunken cities and sacrificial wells. The Mediterranean, which has rendered up so much, gets the usual first coverage, but careful attention is paid to the Mayan wells of the ancient New World and there is a fresh account of the recent raising of the 17th Century Swedish ship Vasa which sank in harbor after its christening. Not only what was found but how it was recovered and which gap it fills in history is Silverberg's lucid approach. This is ancient history made vital for the muscular/mechanical/modern set.

Pub Date: April 5th, 1963
Publisher: Chilton