…important and original study.
…well-written and fascinating.
Accessible reading, this book will appeal to scholars of Asian seafaring and archaeology, sailing aficianados drawn to the junk's form and sailing qualities, and those interested in Chinese-American interactions and encounters.
" Noteworthy to those interested in aspects of maritime culture beyond the material culture."
" Undoubtedly the best work on these ten junks ever written or ever to be written."
" For students of maritime history interested in the technical aspects of junks, their construction and operation, or for students of cultural history, interested in what artefacts from the past can tell us about the culture and beliefs of the people who constructed them, this book will be invaluable."
--International Journal of Maritime History
" Van Tilburg's effort to insert junks into the history of Pacific crossings is an important addition to our understanding of a wider maritime past in this region. Provides a healthy antidote to the more sensationalist works that have appeared on the bookshelves as of late."
--The Pacific Circle
"Will play a significant role in our understanding of China's maritime past."
"A wonderfully enlightening book."
"Argues forcefully for the relevance of studying these ships to understand their importance to the West."
"A wonderful addition to a sorely understudied field."
--Nautical Research Journal
"Maritime Archaeology is about more than just recording, measuring, and preserving old bits of wood for posterity. It is also about researching the rich histories and telling the unique stories of the artefacts we discover. Hans Konrad Van Tilburg offers a unique view of the history of such an artefact. It covers the ten-year career of a small, little-known vessel, USS Saginaw, a 155-foot, fourth-rate, wooden side-wheel steamer that served as a gunboat and all-purpose vessel for the United States Navy from 1860-1870. Since she was built during the long transition from sail to steam, she was a hybrid vessel and had both forms of motive power. Van Tilburg tells her story using a range of documentary sources, including the logs and letters of those who lived onboard. Ultimately, the book will appeal to anyone who has an interest in steam boating history, the history of the United States Navy and its activities in the Pacific Ocean, the history of the American Civil War, as well as economic, technological, and social history. For those historians, sociologists, and philosophers who have repeatedly ignored the richness of archaeological material in their own works, they are advised to read this book. This little vessel and its crew, played an important part in the history of the United States at a time when the nation's future was far from secure."
--Journal of Maritime Archaeology
“Highlights both the impressive technical development of Chinese vessels and their far ranging voyaging achievements”