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Re: Treasures Pose Ethics Issues for Smithsonian

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  • Francisco J. Gonzalez
    The issue is NOT that salvage operators should not profit form the discovery, but rather the destructive, unscientific and secretive way in which they conduct
    Message 1 of 7 , May 3, 2011
    • 0 Attachment
      The issue is NOT that salvage operators should not profit form the discovery, but rather the destructive, unscientific and secretive way in which they conduct the recovery of artifacts. Mel Fisher strip-mined the  Spanish galleons he found, destroying the site as he was interested only on the gold and silver. A careful archaeological dig, recording and preserving all the artifacts, would had taken time and the presence of dedicated, knowledgeable scientist instead of a bunch of hooligans in scuba gear.
       
      Every time a wreck is plundered, we loose precious information forever, information far more valuable than any gold or silver.

      --- On Tue, 5/3/11, charles bruns <charbruns@...> wrote:

      From: charles bruns <charbruns@...>
      Subject: Re: [ancient_waterways_society] Re: Treasures Pose Ethics Issues for Smithsonian
      To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2011, 12:41 AM

       
              Let's hear it for Mel Fisher (sp), a man who gave all for a dream.  "Maybe today."




      --- On Mon, 5/2/11, Mark Bennett <mlbennett@...> wrote:

      From: Mark Bennett <mlbennett@...>
      Subject: Re: [ancient_waterways_society] Re: Treasures Pose Ethics Issues for Smithsonian
      To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Monday, May 2, 2011, 7:09 PM

       
      I agree !!!

      > Pure sour grapes.
      >
      > The ship would have never been discovered, let alone had its contents
      > recovered, had it not been for good old fashioned capitalism.
      > Some call it "greed"
      > But, as we all learned long ago, "greed is good."
      >
      > The "purists" can wring their hands al they want, but as they well know
      > it takes money to recover anything valuable.
      > Rather then complain, they should encourage such recoveries.
      >
      > Do you lose "authenticity."
      > Only in their minds.
      > Any good "treasure hunter" knows that the value is enhanced with expert
      > opinion of the recovery.
      > They can document it better than any expedition that is "grant funded"
      > just because they have the private, profit driven, funding.
      >
      > In the end, if it hasn't been for the "treasure hunters" the ship would
      > still be on the bottom.
      > Just a legend among a few local fisherman.
      >
      > --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, "james m clark jr"
      > <jameyboy@...> wrote:
      >>
      >> Treasures Pose Ethics Issues for Smithsonian
      >> By KATE TAYLOR
      >> Published: April 24, 2011
      >>
      >> A version of this article appeared in print on April 25, 2011, on page
      >> C1 of the New York edition with the headline: Treasures Pose Ethics
      >> Issues For Smithsonian.
      >>
      >> excerpts in whole or in part are from page 1 of 2:
      >>
      >>
      >> http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/25/arts/design/smithsonian-sunken-treasure-show-poses-ethics-questions.html?_r=2&emc=eta1
      >>
      >> http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/25/arts/design/smithsonian-sunken-treasure-show-poses-ethics-questions.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2&emc=eta1
      >>
      >>
      >> Amid mounting calls by scientists for the Smithsonian Institution to
      >> cancel a planned exhibition of Chinese artifacts salvaged from a
      >> shipwreck, the institution will hold a meeting on Monday afternoon to
      >> hear from critics.
      >>
      >>
      >> The contents of the exhibition, "Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and
      >> Monsoon Winds," were mined by a commercial treasure hunter and not
      >> according to academic methods, a practice that many archaeologists
      >> deplore, equating it with modern-day piracy.
      >>
      >> In an April 5 letter to the top official at the Smithsonian, G. Wayne
      >> Clough, a group of archaeologists and anthropologists from the National
      >> Academy of Sciences...
      >>
      >> Monday's meeting was called by Mr. Raby and Richard Kurin, the
      >> Smithsonian's undersecretary for history, art and culture. A final
      >> decision about whether to proceed will likely be made in late May,
      >> according to a Smithsonian spokeswoman, Linda St. Thomas...
      >>
      >> The ship, which is believed to be Arab, was filled with a cargo of
      >> ninth-century Chinese ceramics and gold and silver vessels. Its
      >> discovery suggests that Tang China had substantial sea trade with the
      >> Middle East; scholars had previously thought that the trade routes were
      >> primarily over land, along the Silk Road.
      >>
      >> The exhibition "brings to life the tale of Sinbad sailing to China to
      >> make his fortune," Mr. Raby said this year. (Mr. Raby declined to be
      >> interviewed for this article, according to a spokeswoman, because he
      >> wanted to keep an open mind for Monday's discussion.)
      >>
      >> Archaeologists, however, say that because the shipwreck was
      >> commercially mined within a period of months, rather than the many
      >> years that a more structured archaeological excavation would have
      >> taken, much of the information it might have provided about the ship's
      >> crew and cargo was lost...
      >>
      >> Although a 2001 Unesco convention outlawed the commercial trade in
      >> underwater heritage, Indonesia has not ratified it. (Neither has the
      >> United States.) Indonesia allows commercial mining of shipwrecks as
      >> long as a company is licensed and splits its finds with the government.
      >>
      >
      >
      >

    • charles bruns
      tut,tut. ... From: Francisco J. Gonzalez Subject: [ancient_waterways_society] Re: Treasures Pose Ethics Issues for Smithsonian To:
      Message 2 of 7 , May 3, 2011
      • 0 Attachment
        tut,tut.

        --- On Tue, 5/3/11, Francisco J. Gonzalez <guajataca01@...> wrote:

        From: Francisco J. Gonzalez <guajataca01@...>
        Subject: [ancient_waterways_society] Re: Treasures Pose Ethics Issues for Smithsonian
        To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2011, 8:41 AM

         

        The issue is NOT that salvage operators should not profit form the discovery, but rather the destructive, unscientific and secretive way in which they conduct the recovery of artifacts. Mel Fisher strip-mined the  Spanish galleons he found, destroying the site as he was interested only on the gold and silver. A careful archaeological dig, recording and preserving all the artifacts, would had taken time and the presence of dedicated, knowledgeable scientist instead of a bunch of hooligans in scuba gear.
         
        Every time a wreck is plundered, we loose precious information forever, information far more valuable than any gold or silver.

        --- On Tue, 5/3/11, charles bruns <charbruns@...> wrote:

        From: charles bruns <charbruns@...>
        Subject: Re: [ancient_waterways_society] Re: Treasures Pose Ethics Issues for Smithsonian
        To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2011, 12:41 AM

         
                Let's hear it for Mel Fisher (sp), a man who gave all for a dream.  "Maybe today."




        --- On Mon, 5/2/11, Mark Bennett <mlbennett@...> wrote:

        From: Mark Bennett <mlbennett@...>
        Subject: Re: [ancient_waterways_society] Re: Treasures Pose Ethics Issues for Smithsonian
        To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Monday, May 2, 2011, 7:09 PM

         
        I agree !!!

        > Pure sour grapes.
        >
        > The ship would have never been discovered, let alone had its contents
        > recovered, had it not been for good old fashioned capitalism.
        > Some call it "greed"
        > But, as we all learned long ago, "greed is good."
        >
        > The "purists" can wring their hands al they want, but as they well know
        > it takes money to recover anything valuable.
        > Rather then complain, they should encourage such recoveries.
        >
        > Do you lose "authenticity."
        > Only in their minds.
        > Any good "treasure hunter" knows that the value is enhanced with expert
        > opinion of the recovery.
        > They can document it better than any expedition that is "grant funded"
        > just because they have the private, profit driven, funding.
        >
        > In the end, if it hasn't been for the "treasure hunters" the ship would
        > still be on the bottom.
        > Just a legend among a few local fisherman.
        >
        > --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, "james m clark jr"
        > <jameyboy@...> wrote:
        >>
        >> Treasures Pose Ethics Issues for Smithsonian
        >> By KATE TAYLOR
        >> Published: April 24, 2011
        >>
        >> A version of this article appeared in print on April 25, 2011, on page
        >> C1 of the New York edition with the headline: Treasures Pose Ethics
        >> Issues For Smithsonian.
        >>
        >> excerpts in whole or in part are from page 1 of 2:
        >>
        >>
        >> http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/25/arts/design/smithsonian-sunken-treasure-show-poses-ethics-questions.html?_r=2&emc=eta1
        >>
        >> http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/25/arts/design/smithsonian-sunken-treasure-show-poses-ethics-questions.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2&emc=eta1
        >>
        >>
        >> Amid mounting calls by scientists for the Smithsonian Institution to
        >> cancel a planned exhibition of Chinese artifacts salvaged from a
        >> shipwreck, the institution will hold a meeting on Monday afternoon to
        >> hear from critics.
        >>
        >>
        >> The contents of the exhibition, "Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and
        >> Monsoon Winds," were mined by a commercial treasure hunter and not
        >> according to academic methods, a practice that many archaeologists
        >> deplore, equating it with modern-day piracy.
        >>
        >> In an April 5 letter to the top official at the Smithsonian, G. Wayne
        >> Clough, a group of archaeologists and anthropologists from the National
        >> Academy of Sciences...
        >>
        >> Monday's meeting was called by Mr. Raby and Richard Kurin, the
        >> Smithsonian's undersecretary for history, art and culture. A final
        >> decision about whether to proceed will likely be made in late May,
        >> according to a Smithsonian spokeswoman, Linda St. Thomas...
        >>
        >> The ship, which is believed to be Arab, was filled with a cargo of
        >> ninth-century Chinese ceramics and gold and silver vessels. Its
        >> discovery suggests that Tang China had substantial sea trade with the
        >> Middle East; scholars had previously thought that the trade routes were
        >> primarily over land, along the Silk Road.
        >>
        >> The exhibition "brings to life the tale of Sinbad sailing to China to
        >> make his fortune," Mr. Raby said this year. (Mr. Raby declined to be
        >> interviewed for this article, according to a spokeswoman, because he
        >> wanted to keep an open mind for Monday's discussion.)
        >>
        >> Archaeologists, however, say that because the shipwreck was
        >> commercially mined within a period of months, rather than the many
        >> years that a more structured archaeological excavation would have
        >> taken, much of the information it might have provided about the ship's
        >> crew and cargo was lost...
        >>
        >> Although a 2001 Unesco convention outlawed the commercial trade in
        >> underwater heritage, Indonesia has not ratified it. (Neither has the
        >> United States.) Indonesia allows commercial mining of shipwrecks as
        >> long as a company is licensed and splits its finds with the government.
        >>
        >
        >
        >

      • Susan
        Well said; I agree with Francisco. Susan ... discovery, but rather the destructive, unscientific and secretive way in which they conduct the recovery of
        Message 3 of 7 , May 3, 2011
        • 0 Attachment
          Well said; I agree with Francisco. Susan


          --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, "Francisco J.
          Gonzalez" <guajataca01@...> wrote:
          >
          > The issue is NOT that salvage operators should not profit form the
          discovery, but rather the destructive, unscientific and secretive
          way in which they conduct the recovery of artifacts. Mel Fisher
          strip-mined the Spanish galleons he found, destroying the site as
          he was interested only on the gold and silver. A careful archaeological
          dig, recording and preserving all the artifacts, would had taken time
          and the presence of dedicated, knowledgeable scientist instead of a
          bunch of hooligans in scuba gear.
          > Â
          > Every time a wreck is plundered, we loose precious information
          forever, information far more valuable than any gold or silver.
          >
          > --- On Tue, 5/3/11, charles bruns charbruns@... wrote:
          >
          >
          > From: charles bruns charbruns@...
          > Subject: Re: [ancient_waterways_society] Re: Treasures Pose Ethics
          Issues for Smithsonian
          > To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com
          > Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2011, 12:41 AM
          >
          >
          > Â
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Let's hear it for Mel Fisher (sp),
          a man who gave all for a dream. "Maybe today."
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > --- On Mon, 5/2/11, Mark Bennett mlbennett@... wrote:
          >
          >
          > From: Mark Bennett mlbennett@...
          > Subject: Re: [ancient_waterways_society] Re: Treasures Pose Ethics
          Issues for Smithsonian
          > To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com
          > Date: Monday, May 2, 2011, 7:09 PM
          >
          >
          > Â
          >
          > I agree !!!
          >
          > > Pure sour grapes.
          > >
          > > The ship would have never been discovered, let alone had its
          contents
          > > recovered, had it not been for good old fashioned capitalism.
          > > Some call it "greed"
          > > But, as we all learned long ago, "greed is good."
          > >
          > > The "purists" can wring their hands al they want, but as they well
          know
          > > it takes money to recover anything valuable.
          > > Rather then complain, they should encourage such recoveries.
          > >
          > > Do you lose "authenticity."
          > > Only in their minds.
          > > Any good "treasure hunter" knows that the value is enhanced with
          expert
          > > opinion of the recovery.
          > > They can document it better than any expedition that is "grant
          funded"
          > > just because they have the private, profit driven, funding.
          > >
          > > In the end, if it hasn't been for the "treasure hunters" the ship
          would
          > > still be on the bottom.
          > > Just a legend among a few local fisherman.
          > >
          > > --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, "james m clark jr"
          > > jameyboy@ wrote:
          > >>
          > >> Treasures Pose Ethics Issues for Smithsonian
          > >> By KATE TAYLOR
          > >> Published: April 24, 2011
          > >>
          > >> A version of this article appeared in print on April 25, 2011, on
          page
          > >> C1 of the New York edition with the headline: Treasures Pose Ethics
          > >> Issues For Smithsonian.
          > >>
          > >> excerpts in whole or in part are from page 1 of 2:
          > >>
          > >>
          > >>
          http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/25/arts/design/smithsonian-sunken-treasur\
          e-show-poses-ethics-questions.html?_r=2&emc=eta1
          > >>
          > >>
          http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/25/arts/design/smithsonian-sunken-treasur\
          e-show-poses-ethics-questions.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2&emc=eta1
          > >>
          > >>
          > >> Amid mounting calls by scientists for the Smithsonian Institution
          to
          > >> cancel a planned exhibition of Chinese artifacts salvaged from a
          > >> shipwreck, the institution will hold a meeting on Monday afternoon
          to
          > >> hear from critics.
          > >>
          > >>
          > >> The contents of the exhibition, "Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and
          > >> Monsoon Winds," were mined by a commercial treasure hunter and not
          > >> according to academic methods, a practice that many archaeologists
          > >> deplore, equating it with modern-day piracy.
          > >>
          > >> In an April 5 letter to the top official at the Smithsonian, G.
          Wayne
          > >> Clough, a group of archaeologists and anthropologists from the
          National
          > >> Academy of Sciences...
          > >>
          > >> Monday's meeting was called by Mr. Raby and Richard Kurin, the
          > >> Smithsonian's undersecretary for history, art and culture. A final
          > >> decision about whether to proceed will likely be made in late May,
          > >> according to a Smithsonian spokeswoman, Linda St. Thomas...
          > >>
          > >> The ship, which is believed to be Arab, was filled with a cargo of
          > >> ninth-century Chinese ceramics and gold and silver vessels. Its
          > >> discovery suggests that Tang China had substantial sea trade with
          the
          > >> Middle East; scholars had previously thought that the trade routes
          were
          > >> primarily over land, along the Silk Road.
          > >>
          > >> The exhibition "brings to life the tale of Sinbad sailing to China
          to
          > >> make his fortune," Mr. Raby said this year. (Mr. Raby declined to
          be
          > >> interviewed for this article, according to a spokeswoman, because
          he
          > >> wanted to keep an open mind for Monday's discussion.)
          > >>
          > >> Archaeologists, however, say that because the shipwreck was
          > >> commercially mined within a period of months, rather than the many
          > >> years that a more structured archaeological excavation would have
          > >> taken, much of the information it might have provided about the
          ship's
          > >> crew and cargo was lost...
          > >>
          > >> Although a 2001 Unesco convention outlawed the commercial trade in
          > >> underwater heritage, Indonesia has not ratified it. (Neither has
          the
          > >> United States.) Indonesia allows commercial mining of shipwrecks as
          > >> long as a company is licensed and splits its finds with the
          government.
          > >>
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
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