Archaeology has long been exploited as a political tool. Hitler used artifacts and symbols to manufacture a narrative of Aryan racial superiority. The Islamic State proves its zealotry by destroying evidence of ancient history. Underwater archaeology — the world of shipwrecks and sunken cities — has mostly avoided these kinds of machinations, though. Since no one lives beneath the sea, leaders haven’t found many opportunities for political gains from archaeological sites there.
That is, until now.
In the past few years, politicians in Canada, Russia and China have realized that they can use shipwrecks on the sea floor to project their sovereignty into new maritime territories.… Seguir leyendo »
Dreams of undersea riches make treasure hunting a seductive investment. As professional underwater archaeologists, we don’t normally comment on the commercial salvage of historical shipwrecks. But in this case, our expert opinion is: Don’t waste your money.
The fact is, no major treasure-hunting venture has ever been profitable for investors, according to a series of academic studies. And from an archaeological point of view, there are compelling scientific and legal reasons that investments in treasure hunting won’t pay off.
Treasure hunting has recently been in the news. On Monday, Tampa, Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. said that it had recovered gold from the sunken ship SS Central America, with estimates that there may be as much as $86 million in precious metal at the wreck site off the coast of South Carolina.… Seguir leyendo »