Texas A&M University Press recently published John McManamon’s research on the Lake Nemi barges. From the publisher’s website:
The saga of Caligula’s barges sunk in Lake Nemi south of Rome—how the huge vessels came to be there in the first place; why they became a cause célèbre for Mussolini’s Fascist regime; how they were, after multiple attempts, recovered from the lake bed; and why they were shortly thereafter destroyed—is, in the words of author John McManamon, a good story that is worth telling: “It has memorable characters, twists and turns in the plot, no lack of conflict and tension, and a dramatic ending where something clearly went wrong.”
In From Caligula to the Nazis: The Nemi Ships in Diana’s Sanctuary, McManamon takes readers on an excursion through history to the fiery ending of the tale, a journey propelled by narrative energy and enhanced by the fruits of careful research. Related topics include Roman mythology and state religion, the erratic reign of the infamous Caligula, underwater archaeology as practiced during the Renaissance, the ideological exploitation of archaeology by Il Duce and his fascist followers, and a historical whodunit to ascertain the choices that led to the arson of the ship remains. McManamon covers every chapter in the 2,000-year history of the ships and does not ignore the mistaken interpretations that at times led subsequent researchers into blind alleys. In the end, From Caligula to the Nazis provides for both academic specialists and informed general readers the careful unwinding of a centuries-long mystery, replete with heroes, villains, gods, kings, and numerous ordinary folk swept up into the maelstrom.
Texas A&M University Nautical Archaeology Program doctoral student Patrick Boyle will discuss his ongoing research into bugeyes, a regional type of watercraft used in the oystering industry. Link to the recorded presentation forthcoming.
Underwater photo of the Harts Cove Shipwreck investigation and Plymouth State University field school in the 1990s under the direction of Dr. David Switzer (Courtesy Plymouth State University, Special Collections).
The Institute of Maritime History will assist Dr. Stefan Claesson in relocating two ca. 1700 shipwrecks in Harts Cove, New Hampshire. The wrecks were salvaged by divers and investigated by archaeologists between the 1970s and 1990s, but the precise location of the wrecks was never reported. The goals of this project are to re-locate the wrecks for the State for management purposes, document exposed elements of the sites using photogrammetry, and conduct wood sampling of visible ship timbers. These samples will be used to identify wood species used in the construction of the vessels and to obtain dendrochronological data that would aid in dating the construction of the ships. We look forward to seeing the team’s results!
In the early morning hours of New Year’s Eve 1862, the Civil War Ironclad, USS Monitor, sank beneath the ocean waves during a terrible storm off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. That morning, 16 men went down with the ship, and although numerous people searched for it for over a century, the Monitor’s final resting location remained a mystery until 1973.
Join John Broadwater, president and founder of Spritsail Enterprises, former superintendent at Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, and IMH member, to learn about the search for the USS Monitor. Discover why the shipwreck was difficult to locate and learn about the expeditions to find it. Go back in time to August of 1973, when John G. Newton led a team of scientists in search of the elusive shipwreck. Learn why it continued to be difficult to identify once they thought they found it and what finally convinced the team it was indeed the USS Monitor.
This webinar is one of the first in our 50th anniversary celebrations of USS Monitor. Stay tuned for more, as we commemorate the confirmation of the location of Monitor in 1974 and the shipwreck becoming our nation’s first national marine sanctuary in 1975.
Dr. Warren Riess co-directed the excavation of an early 18th-century colonial merchant vessel initially known as the Ronson Ship in Lower Manhattan. Dr. Riess shared the results of more than four decades of post-excavation research and analysis that led him to identify the ship and uncover its role in the developing the 18th-century Atlantic World. This important vessel is answering questions about colonial ship design, the merchant trade, and the development of early New York, Virginia, and Charleston. Dr. Riess’ first volume about the project, The Ship That Held Up Wall Street, won Mystic Seaport’s 2015 John Gardner Award for significant contributions to maritime history. The second volume is scheduled to be released in June 2023.
Since 2007, INA Research Associate John Pollack and his team have documented the archaeological remains of the Klondike Gold Rush in the form of 30 field sites and three heritage ships in the Yukon, British Columbia, and Alaska. John shared the results of his team’s comprehensive fieldwork, and discussed the evolution of the Northwestern river steamboat, its hull construction, and machinery.
Dr. John Broadwater’s new book, A Practical Guide to Maritime Archaeology: with a Focus on the Mid-Atlantic Region, was just released on Amazon. This is a great guide for those wanting an introduction to maritime archaeological practices or for anyone wanting a quick reference to archaeological methods, terminology, tools, and techniques. There are numerous illustrated examples of archaeological sites within the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. All proceeds go to the Archeological Society of Virginia. Click here to order your copy!
Join Allyson Ropp, Maritime Archaeologist with the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology, to learn about the ships that wrecked along the northern portion of Hatteras Island. Like many places on the North Carolina coast, there lies a set of submerged shoals, Wimble Shoals. These shoals have been agents of destruction in the area for centuries, playing a role in the wrecking of ships sailing the Atlantic shipping lanes. Many of the wrecking events led to harrowing rescues by passing ships or by the U.S. Life Saving Service units stationed along the island.
This presentation explores the histories of some of the vessels lost along Wimble Shoals and northern Hatteras Island. It further examines the overall near shore and offshore wrecking trends of the area to understand various dynamics to the loss of vessels. You won’t want to miss these great stories of heroic adventures.