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2011 by Oxford University Press, Inc. All rights reserved.Coastal waters represent the greatest danger to ships and seafarers, as ships are most commonly lost at the intersection of water and shore. Ships sinking in deep water undergo a gradual transition. Deep-submergence archaeology refers to the archaeological study of cultural resources beyond the limits of traditional diving. The totality of archaeological exploration at great depths-discovering, recording, excavating, and recovering-requires function-specific tools. Deep Submergence Archaeological Excavations (DSAE) takes advantage of a remarkable existent toolkit, designed for a variety of oceanographic purposes other than the study of ancient shipwrecks. What is lacking at present is a comprehensive methodology for deepwater excavation. The ultimate goal of DSAE is to develop the technologies and the skills that permit expeditions to excavate and safely raise the contents and hull of an entire ship for conservation, study, and display.
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The Oxford Handbook of Maritime Archaeology