Archaeology is kind of a non-glamorous branch of science. It is a convergence of many different physical and social sciences which are used as tools to construct the jigsaw puzzle of our past. But sadly humans are not as interested in the past as they are in the future. General public thinks of archaeologists as khaki-wearing folk who love meticulously dusting off the tiny little pieces of shards made by unknown people from thousands of years ago. So most of the archaeological discoveries manage to excite only the members of this close community and go unappreciated by the general populous. Only a few discoveries like that of Tutankhamen’s (lovingly dubbed King Tut) gold-laden tomb makes it to the front pages of newspapers and magazines.
Even more obscure branch of archaeology is underwater archaeology. Although a lot of our history lies submerged underwater not many of us think there is anything valuable to look there. Only when something astonishing like the Bimini wall or the Antikythera device comes out of the depths of the ocean, does our attention get focused on it briefly. However there has been increasing interest among the archaeologists of today to go diving to peer into the past. Archaeology, a publication of the Archaeological Institute of America, highlights just a few of these ongoing underwater archaeology projects, from the recovery of a sixth-century B.C. Phoenician shipwreck, where excavators found a cargo that included elephant tusks and amber, to work on a 19th-century vessel in Oklahoma’s Red River that has given archaeologists their first look at early steamship design.
One great work of research based on a worldwide exploration diving for the underwater ruins of a lost civilization is the book Underworld by investigative journalist and author, Graham Hancock. This book follows clues in ancient scriptures and mythology and in the scientific evidence of the flood that swept the Earth at the end of the last Ice Age. I believe such works are rare because of our belief that we are the most advanced humans this planet has ever seen and so there’s nothing to look for in the past except exploits of primitive cavemen. However if you do believe the cyclic model of life in ancient Hindu philosophy, the Yuga cycle, then you should definitely be curious as to what is hidden away in the blue depths that cover 3/4th of our planet today.
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