"An interesting and effective effort by the principal investigators to relate the entire story of HMS Fowey to a broad readership. This is an intimate, lively, occasionally frustrated account of a complex, legally tangled project that has spanned more than two decades, told as only the authors could tell it."--John D. Broadwater, chief archaeologist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Sanctuary Program
Sunken treasure may seem like the stuff of legends and movies, but the seas still hold prizes to be found.
HMS Fowey was a small ship, carrying 44 guns and over 200 men, captained by a descendant of Sir Francis Drake’s brother. It had scored victories over French and Spanish ships in battle, but in 1748 was done in by a reef in what is now Biscayne National Park.
In 1978, an underwater treasure hunter came upon a shipwreck in the park and began to search for treasure. Eventually, after years of precedent-setting legal wrangling, the National Park Service asserted ownership of the wreckage and turned the investigation over to underwater archaeologists, including George Fischer and Russell Skowronek.
HMS Fowey Lost and Found traces the life of the ship, the court martial of her captain, her rediscovery in the 1970s, and the long process of artifact recovery and ship identification. Written for general readers, the result is a fascinating story of intrigue and adventure that stretches across the centuries.
Russell K. Skowronek is associate professor of anthropology and founder of the Archaeology Research Lab at Santa Clara University. George R. Fischer is the founder of the underwater archaeology program for the National Park Service, where he was an underwater archaeologist from 1959 to 1988.
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"In this lively volume they give a firsthand account that reads like an adventure novel, complete with intrigue and murder. In this story science and the public interest triumpth over the age-old quest for easy riches."
"Fascinating account for actual and armchair treasure hunters includes salvage maps, photos of artifacts, information on the regulation of underwater archaeology, and a timeline."
--Book News Inc.
"In this lively volume they give a firsthand account that reads like an adventure novel, complete with intrigue and murder. It's a great adventure, but more importantly, it tells the history of the efforts to curtail irresponsible treasure huntnig and protect historical shipwrecks in the United States and around the world."
"Well-written, technical and personal, with many useful illustrations. Overall, the book should appeal to both a wide public and scholarly audience. It should certainly be on the bookshelf of every underwater archaeologist or aspiring student archaeologist."
--Nautical Research Journal
"Far from simply being another site report with extra bells and whistles added for publication into a book, this is a story about the vicissitudes of research, the conflicts between archaeologists and treasure-hunters (and sometimes archaeologists and government agencies), to serve as a real-life example of the complexities of shipwreck research and submerged cultural resource management."
--International Journal of Maritime History
"Good reading for all maritime archaeologists and their students."