BAJR Federation Archaeology

Full Version: Looks like HMS Sussex has been 'salvaged'
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read the sad story here
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18736741/

reported in the Digger back in 2003
http://www.bajr.org/DiggerMagazine/TheDi...icle3.html

IF this is the site.. then they have done something that the CBA, IFA, Rescue and over 60 MPs condemned as pure Treasure Hunting - HMS Sussex may have just been looted... however... we await to find out whether it was done with archaeology - or just to get the treasure out... no point.. pointing fingers yet. :face-huh:

Was an IFA RAO involved?

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Khufu
If this is the same company that salvaged the Republic (Paddle steamer that sank returning from the Californian gold rush?)they aparently undertook substantial recording throughout. Their ROV lifts material using suction cups that then stacks (say coins) in trays by their location on the wreck. I have yet to come across any excavation report proper though have read about their work.
If this was HMS Sussex then there should have been two RAOs involved.

Giffords were engaged by the salvagers as their archaeologists, and Wessex Archaeology were engaged by HM Government to ensure that all work was carried out to agreed standards.


Beamo
Quote:quote:Originally posted by beamo

If this was HMS Sussex then there should have been two RAOs involved.

Giffords were engaged by the salvagers as their archaeologists, and Wessex Archaeology were engaged by HM Government to ensure that all work was carried out to agreed standards.


Beamo

Yes. Did you read what those "agreed" standards were? An agreement between Odyssey Group and the UK Government to split the profits made from the realisation of the value of the ships cargo. No commitment to protection of the archive (particularly the finds) as a whole, no commitment to long-term storage or display in an appropriate museum, inadequate conservation measures for non-precious finds (pottery, leather etc.), spurious and undefined finds classification processes (so as to screen out stuff to leave behind on the sea bed), specific exclusion of Human remains from the definition of the "archaeological" archive, and no independant monitoring arrangements. The "Standards" also specifically mention how pieces of legislation such as the Protection of Military Remains Act (1986), the Protection of Wrecks Act (1973), and the Valletta Convention don't apply - and can presumably thus be ignored. No mention of the Treasure Act though, and the Government's moral obligation to protecting the UK's heritage. Just an interest in recovering the "monetary value of the site" and the benefits to the "UK taxpayer" of doing so.

Standards "agreed" by whom? Sad
Hi Curator Kid

My limited understanding of this is that Odyssey Group did cut a deal with the Admiralty over the split of profits.

Once this was 'discovered' by other parts of HM Government there was a rapid back-tracking and the Admiralty were reminded of the Government's obligations under international and national law and guidance relating to maritime heritage. However, the deal had already been signed and therefore all subsequent agreed 'standards' for the work had to be in line with the signed agreement. Odyssey Group have now engaged Giffords in order to ensure that agreed standards are met, and HM Government engaged Wessex Archaeology (through Defence Estates) to keep an eye on it all. I'm sure that many involved feel compromised, but want to try and make the best out of what could well have been a total disaster. Blame should basically be aimed at the Admiralty for failing to understand their responsibility in such matters.

Beamo
Didn't read the thread correctly sorry... so deleted my reply
http://www.ukdfd.co.uk
Recording OUR heritage for future generations.
Hi Beamo

Yes that's the situation as I understand it too, so I'm happy to agree. My point is not to have a go at the RAO's, but to point out the Government's shoddy behaviour towards the historic environment when it looks like there's some easy money to be made out of it.

Absolutely ... I am sure people are feeling a bit used/abused. However have we confirmation on the shipwreck yet? My understadning was the Sussex was carrying gold... not silver... hmmmm....curiouser and curiouser

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Khufu
Curator Kid

Glad we are agreed on the role of the RAOs. In terms of the Government's record on this one I would repeat my understanding that it was actually the Admiralty, acting entirely independently, that dropped HMG into the brown stuff on this one.

Others may may know more, but understandably a lot of this is presumably still confidential.

Mr Hosty - I thinl that you are right to be cautious about identifying this find with HMS Sussex. There were rumours that it was actually the Merchant Royal, which went down off the Scillies in 1641 full of Mexican gold and silver. However, the plane that landed in the USA carrying the loot took off from Gibralter, which would point the finger more at HMS Sussex.


Beamo
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