一枚の特選フォト⌈海 ＆ 船⌋
画像は、水中考古学的発掘調査の現場を再現したジオラマである（2011年、Rich Creation International Ltd., Hong Kong
Many underwater archaeological sites, such as shipwrecks are buried in sand or covered with hundreds of years of coral growth. The excavation of a site may be carried out because it is under threat or because of the desire to reveal its archaeological and historical significance.
Excavation is a destructive process; the archaeological team has just one chance to dig, record and recover material in order to comprehensively interpret the findings. Working underwater can also be hazardous and everthing needs to be carefully and systematically planned. Firstly a non-disturbance survey is carried out, then a grid is placed over the site so the ship's structure and artefacts can be recorded in 3 dimensions. A dredge, like a vacuum cleaner, is used to carefully remove the sand to reveal the ship's structure and contents.
Artefacts are very fragile and need to be handled carefully during the recovery, after which time they need conserving to ensure they remain in a stable condition. An excavation of a month or two can generate many months or years of work in researching, cataloguing, drawling photographing, artefact conservation, interpreting and writing up the results of a project.
In most underwater archaeological projects the ship's structure will remain on the seabed, although the recording implemented underwater could allow for a reprica of the site to be made, or even a replica of the ship. At the conclusion of an excavation project, all equipment is recovered and the shipwreck is reburied and monitored to ensure its continued preservation.