|In October 1902 using a hard hat and
suit, a Benedictine Monk named Father Blundell, conducted one of the
earliest underwater archaeological surveys, with a study of a crannog
in Loch Ness. These crannogs are man-made islands, on which dwellings
were constructed, but which have long since disappeared. There are over 350
crannogs scattered throughout Scotland, some of which are currently
being studied. One of them dates back to 595BC.
Since 1902 and the invention of the aqualung in 1943,
many underwater sites and shipwrecks have been relocated throughout
the world. Many of these sites have been discovered by accident and
some through years of research and diving, initially in a search for
treasure, and later as serious archaeological investigations.
Some of the most well known discoveries around the
Wasa which sank in 1628, recovered
- Mary Rose which sank in 1545, recovered in 1982,
Atocha which sank in 1622, rediscovered
Batavia which sank in 1629, recovered
Pandora which sank in 1791, rediscovered
Sirius which sank in 1790, surveyed
between 1983 & 1988.
MARITIME ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN NEW ZEALAND
Of the 2000+ shipwrecks around New Zealand's coast,
around 150 have been relocated, either through research or by accident.
Most of these wrecks have been subjected to raids by divers for the
odd relic or for their treasure.
As far as MAANZ is aware, the only shipwrecks or underwater
sites that have had any sort of archaeological techniques applied
to them, are:
ENDEAVOUR. Ship. This vessel became
un-seaworthy and was stripped and abandoned in Dusky Sound, in October
1795. Although she was abandoned, she is recognised as being New
Zealand's first shipwreck. Research into this vessel has been done
in the past, some by Kelly Tarlton. This research led to the discovery
of two of the ships guns, which were lost when they were being transported
by raft to the shore at the time of the vessels abandonment. These
guns were salvaged by Kelly Tarlton in 1984 and a report was
completed following the research conducted by Sarah Kenderdine and
Angela Boocock, who are both maritime archaeologists.
HMS BUFFALO. Ship. This vessel was
wrecked in a storm at Mercury Bay on 29 July 1840. The remains of
this vessel were surveyed by a team led by Bill Jeffery, a maritime
archaeologist with the State Heritage Branch of the Department of
Environment and Planning in Adelaide, Australia.
WHALE BOATS. Two whale boats were deliberately sunk in
Lake Waikaremoana in 1869. A survey was conducted by Major Tony Howell in
1981 as part of an Army exercise and a comprehensive report
was submitted to the Historic Places Trust. One whale
boat which was removed in 1960 was still included in the report. At that time it was noted to be in poor condition. The whale boat remaining underwater continues to receive occassional surveys.
(David Churchill's whale boat comments updated in May 2016 by Tony Howell, with editorial updates by Rex Johnson.)
PA SITE. Doctor Roger Grace (Marine
Biologist), submitted an article for the New Zealand Archaeological
Association Newsletter (Vol.29, No:3, September 1985), about a
drowned Pa site in Lake Okataina in the Rotorua District. It is
believed that the site became drowned as a result of the Mount Tarawera
eruption in 1886.