The first scientific archaeological excavation of a shipwreck took place just over 50 years ago. Since then, thousands of wrecks have been discovered, each with an important story to tell. Choosing 10 from among them to represent the endeavor of nautical archaeology is a difficult—and subjective—task
But each offers a profile of an age and a window into the lives of its people, as well as evidence of just how clever and innovative our ancestors were as they took to the seas. Through these stories, we also see why archaeologists continue to devote themselves, despite danger and difficulty, to the examination and excavation of wrecks, wherever they might be discovered.
From the rudimentary dive equipment of the earliest excavations to the sophisticated remote-sensing and remotely operated technology of today, archaeologists have shown that no site is beyond the reach of our inquiry into the past.