Troubled Waters: The Battle Over Shipwrecks, Treasure and History at the Bottom of the Sea

Though shipwrecks and treasure are deeply seductive to the public, the political, ethical, and scientific geography surrounding these sunken ships is not well publicized, except in cases involving large amounts of money. There is a battle for access rights to these objects with some claiming them as public historical commons, and others as commodity. Written for a popular audience, this thesis explores the history, technology and common sentiments surrounding shipwrecks from the people who have dedicated their lives to them: commercial firms (treasure hunters, salvors, etc.), academics (maritime archaeologists, conservators, educators, historians and cultural managers) and hobbyist SCUBA divers.