Public Lectures

Public Lectures

Thursday 22 October, 7:00 PM
Room: Academic South 204

Robert Grenier - (O.C., Underwater Archaeology Service, Parks Canada, and Past President of the International Scientific committee on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, UNESCO/ICOMOS).
"The 2001 UNESCO Convention for Heritage Shipwrecks and the Significance of the 1565 Basque Galleon San Juan from Labrador Selected for its Logo."

Précis: Threatened by technological advances and the expansion of sport diving, the underwater world was among the last to be addressed for preservation. Canada, one of the first countries to manage heritage shipwrecks underwater, starting in 1961, has been a world leader in this field and became one of the three most influential countries in developing the complex legal text of the 2001 UNESCO Convention. Canada's own policies and practices in underwater archaeology are often quoted as examples to follow. Among the most important was the wreck of a Spanish Basque galleon, loaded with whale oil, called the San Juan, and lost in Red Bay, Labrador in 1565. As a result of the precedents it set for field techniques, analytic methodology, and heritage preservation, the ship's image stands on the permanent logo for the Convention.


Friday 23 October, 9:00 AM
< Room: Sankey Chamber

John P. Oleson - (Department of Greek and Roman Studies, University of Victoria, Canada)
"Herodotus, Aristotle, and Sounding Weights: The Deep Sea as a Frontier in the Classical World."

Précis: The ancient Mediterranean cultures knew far more about the deep sea than is generally realized. Pharaohs, emperors, scientists, fishermen, ships' captains, and sponge divers were all personally concerned with the topography and environment of the sea floor. Comments by the cientist-philosophers Aristotle and Posidonius indicate that by the early Hellenistic period many areas of the Mediterranean Sea had been accurately measured down to 2000 m. This was an impressive accomplishment, given the materials and technology available at the time. Both the difficulty of the undertaking and the apparently comprehensive scope of the inquiry reveal a profound and so far underrated interest in the deep sea among Greek and Roman intellectuals. Oleson will present the surprising results of his research concerning ocean science and navigation in the ancient Mediterranean.


Friday 23 October, 6:30 PM
Room: Academic South 204

Ole Varmer - (Office of General Counsel for International Law, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA)
"Treasure Hunting, the Law, and Cultural Heritage in the United States and Beyond."

Précis: Our maritime heritage plays a significant role in molding who we are, where we live, what we do and how we do it. Some of this heritage is contained in millions of time-capsules, including shipwrecks and other underwater cultural heritage (UCH) such as RMS Titanic. Even the deepest UCH is now accessible to treasure hunting, which is "looting" to some and "commercial salvage" to others. While the Law of the Sea provides the framework for these activities, nations do not have the same authority to protect UCH on their continental shelf as they do to protect natural resources. Recent activities by American salvors off the coast of other nations have highlighted the need for new law. This paper provides an overview of the law that applies to UCH and identifies the gaps that need to be filled to more comprehensively protect UCH here and abroad.

Amphora / Kekova Adasi / Dr Elizabeth Greene