The Unthinkable Happened, The Unsinkable Sank
The story of the RMS Titanic is very well known. The Titanic was the biggest ship of its time, said to be unsinkable. On April 10, 1912 the Titanic set sail under the command of Capitan E. J. Smith. Only four short days later, on April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg around eleven-forty at night. In a matter of three hours the ship had split into two sections and had become complete submerged, slowing sinking to the bottom of the ocean, taking with it people, possessions and its unsinkable title. Seventy-three years later, in 1985, when Dr. Robert Ballard drove the research submarine ALVIN to the ocean floor the world finally was able to see the first photograph of the Titanic at the bottom of the ocean. Thus began the struggles of archaeology associated with the Titanic.
Hundreds of people, archaeologists and enthusiasts alike, have taken the two and a half mile dive down to the ocean floor to view the Titanic. One of the main questions that has arisen from these visits and findings is whether or not the Titanic should be treated as an archaeological find or as a memorial site for the lives that were lost on April, 14, 1912. The National Marine Sanctuaries believes that "the archaeology of Titanic can, and should be, more than simply understanding what happened" but should also "be an exposition to those who were lost that night". Another question that is asked of the Titanic is how could it be archaeologically significant? The Titanic is not from an ancient time, different culture or specific religious period. Archaeologists would argue that the Titanic is one of the great discoveries for archaeology because of its classification as nautical/maritime archaeology. The preparations, limitations, and rules for recovery when it comes to the Titanic are all very different compared to a discovery made on land or even in a cave.
First off, nautical archaeology is "a combination of oceanography and...