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Western Empire:  The Deep Water Wreck of a Mid-Nineteenth Century Wooden Sailing Ship

Joshua Aaron Levin
Thesis: May 2006
Chair:  Crisman




    This study of Western Empire is split into two distinct parts: (1) historical research of the life of the vessel, relying on primary documents; and (2) analysis of the deep water survey data. The first part concentrates on the historical documents that constitute the history of Western Empire. The second part begins with a review of the tools and procedures used in performing the deep water survey. An analysis of the information that can be taken from such a study will follow, and it concludes with suggestions for remotely operated vehicle operators when performing an on-the-fly survey of shipwrecks in deep water. The official ship logs, crew agreements, and contemporary newspaper articles are used to recreate the life of Western Empire and shed light on a period in which wooden sailing ships were being displaced by iron ships and steam power.

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