Underwater Archaeologist Marx to Talk on ‘Archaeology of the Abyss’

MELBOURNE — Famed underwater explorer Sir Robert Marx will lead an aquatic journey around the world as he explores the history and development of underwater archaeology in a free public lecture starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at Florida Tech’s Gleason Performing Arts Center.

In “Archaeology of the Abyss: Shipwreck Treasures from the Deep,” Marx, a pioneer in deep-water archaeology, will talk about early robotic equipment and recoveries he made on deep-water shipwreck sites and submerged settlements.

Marx will offer insight and riveting details on the fascinating sites, from Singapore to the Azores, which he and others have explored.

He will detail the history of this underwater exploration, where relics of long-vanished civilizations and artifacts that provide valuable clues for reconstructing the past, such as navigational devices, weapons, tools and implements, lie among the wreckage.

The advent of SCUBA equipment in the early 1950s sparked intense interest in ancient shipwrecks and marine archaeology, especially in the Mediterranean.

In 1952 Capt. Jacques-Yves Cousteau and a French naval team excavated a Roman galley laden with amphorae that sank in 160 feet of water near Marseilles, France. They spent a year collecting thousands of artifacts but made no effort to gather archaeological data.

International publicity about the project sparked interest among scholars, who recognized the archaeological potential of shipwrecks among sport divers. Plundering of wrecks along the coast led to legal prohibition of unauthorized wreck diving.

But Marx and others, who bring a quest for answers and education to their marine excursions, have helped illuminate these waterlogged corners of our history.

For more information on the Nov. 15 lecture, please call 321-674-6152.

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