The Atlas of Shipwrecks & Treasure: The History, Location, and Treasures of Ships Lost at Sea

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9781564585998: The Atlas of Shipwrecks & Treasure: The History, Location, and Treasures of Ships Lost at Sea
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Provides a history of 40 significant shipwrecks, along with maps plotting the sites of more than 1,400 wrecks around the world

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About the Author:

Nigel Pickford studied English at Cambridge University, and has carried on a family tradition of professional shipwreck research for salvage companies that extends back 50 years. He is an established authority in this arcane but rapidly expanding field and has a personal archive on treasure ships that is unparalleled in its comprehensiveness. He has been involved in the discovery of a wide variety of ships, ranging from a 12th--century junk in the South China Sea that was found with silver, gold, and porcelain on board, to a World War I merchant ship off southern Ireland with a cargo of gold ingots and tin. At present, Nigel Pickford is researching a number of different projects for Swedish, German, Malaysian, American, and British salvage teams, including a 20th--century cargo of gold lost in the Mediterranean, a fabulous 17th--century Spanish treasure ship lost in international waters, four Dutch and Portuguese wrecks of the early 17th century that sank in the Strait of Malacca, and a West African trader wrecked with its cargo of porcelain in Liverpool Bay, England. In recent years, Nigel Pickford has worked for most of the major names in shipwreck salvage, including Michael Hatcher (famous for retrieving the Nanking cargo from the Geldermalsen) and Sverker Hallstrom, who recovered the Vung Tau cargo.

From Booklist:

Though the jacket proclaims this as "the first comprehensive guide to ships lost at sea and the treasures they have yielded," Pickford's introduction more modestly and accurately states that, because of the lack of records over the vast ages and areas involved," no book on this subject could pretend to be totally comprehensive." Defining a treasure ship broadly as "any ship used to transport a high-value cargo of precious metals or artifacts that do not lose their value when immersed for long periods in salt water," Pickford, a professional shipwreck researcher, provides illuminating text set in a sea of illustrations. The result is a book that is a fine starting point for shipwreck research as well as a browsable coffee-table book, because of the graphics for which Dorling Kindersley is esteemed.

The atlas is divided into two main parts. The first, "Shipwrecks," examines 40 significant shipwrecks in two-page spreads combining text with profuse use of photographs and other illustrations. These shipwrecks are arranged into 14 groupings including "The Vikings," "Chinese Junks," and "Pirates and Privateers"; each has its own lavish introductory two-page spread. The book's second main part, "Gazetteer," has two sections: maps and shipwreck listings. The 20 double-page maps locate by number more than 1,400 shipwrecks, indicating for each relative sea depths in yards and meters, date of sinking, and whether or not some salvage history is known. The shipwreck listings indicates, where known, the ship's name and location on a map in the atlas, date of sinking, nationality, tonnage, location, route, cargo, and salvage record.

Concluding the book are a glossary and a bibliography of about 100 entries each, as well as an index. That the index refers not at all to the 34 pages of shipwreck listings in part 2 makes it difficult to easily locate specific information, such as the cargo of the Titanic or the captain of the San Juan, in that section. The Lusitania, perhaps failing to meet the author's broad definition of treasure ship, escapes mention anywhere in the book.

Recommended as a seaworthy addition to public, academic, and elementary and secondary school libraries for both reference and browsing.

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Pickford, Nigel
Published by Dk Pub (1994)
ISBN 10: 1564585999 ISBN 13: 9781564585998
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Murray Media
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Book Description Dk Pub, 1994. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111564585999

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