What Lies Beneath
Over the last few decades, thanks to modern technology, the gates of a new world under the oceans have been flung open: a world that has preserved several chapters of human history in the forms of harbours, cities, temples, statues and shipwrecks.
But this is also a treasure trove that needs protecting. International seas are largely unregulated, meaning most underwater archaeological wealth can be retrieved and sold without any obstacle.
Award-winning archaeologist and broadcaster, Win Scutt, explores the archaeological wealth at the bottom of the sea & the anarchy that reigns when it comes to retrieving it.
Faced with a growing treasure hunting industry, the UNESCO has stepped in and is hoping to enforce a new convention to protect underwater cultural heritage by the end of the year.
Using special recording equipment, Win takes the listener underwater as he dives with a team of archaeologists excavating a shipwreck off the coast of Israel. As the mission progresses, he finds out what makes underwater archaeology unique, often challenging and sometimes very dangerous.
But the hostile environment is also what makes shipwrecks the best time capsules in archaeology, from which a great deal has been learnt. And with an estimated three million undiscovered shipwrecks, spread across the oceans, the journey of discovery has only just begun.
First broadcast Friday 22 August 2008