cover image Shipwrecked! Diving for Hidden Time Capsules on the Ocean Floor

Shipwrecked! Diving for Hidden Time Capsules on the Ocean Floor

Martin W. Sandler. Astra, $24.99 (144p) ISBN 978-1-66260-204-7

“Some three million shipwrecks lie on the ocean floor, and along with them, much of human history hides beneath the waves,” writes National Book Award winner Sandler in an immersive narrative nonfiction work that details the history of marine archeology, from the “plunder techniques of the earliest salvagers to... precise and orderly science-driven excavations.” Beginning in 1900 with the “first-ever organized excavation of a shipwreck”—sponge divers’ findings of Greek marble and bronze sculptures off the island Anti-kythera—the work also traces the 1982 raising of Henry VIII’s flagship, the 2011 finding of slave ship São José Paquete de Africa, and the 2022 revelation of the Endurance beneath Antarctic ice. Alongside urgent-sounding text, sidebars introduce topics including haenyeo, human remains, the Middle Passage, and technological inventions that have gradually made wrecks accessible for study and recovery. Filled with photos of artifacts, the excavation process, and vessels recovered, it’s a fascinating read that paints each shipwreck as “a pristine historic time capsule” and marine archaeology as “one of the newest, most dynamic, and most rewarding of all the sciences.” Ages 10–14. (Oct.)