DEEP WATER, ANCIENT SHIPS: The Treasure Vault of the Mediterranean by Willard Bascom

DEEP WATER, ANCIENT SHIPS: The Treasure Vault of the Mediterranean

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KIRKUS REVIEW

What begins adventurously enough with a promise of accounts of the deep-sea recovery of ancient ships, cargos and artifacts, soon becomes a survey of how wrecks are preserved in the deep and a position paper on recovery techniques and equipment. This seems written less to attract readers than angels (financial), since the full recovery of even one ship from the depths has not yet been accomplished. What has been done to determine conditions down there, to locate ships by sonar and underwater television scanners, and to develop a great variety of lifting devices is far from spellbinding. Technologically the greatest advance seems to be the Alcoa Seaprobe, an aluminum ship designed by Bascom himself. One tenth of all the ships that have ever been built are on the bottom of the ocean; about 100,000 ships of all periods are at rest in the Mediterranean. More than one question arises: who should get a ship once it's hauled up? What are the legal claims related to salvaging deep wrecks? In looking for answers and for financial backing, Bascom agrees with Thomas Carlyle, who said, ""Go as far as you can see. Then you will be able to see further.

Pub Date: Feb. 13th, 1975
Publisher: Doubleday