What we know about history often comes from pieces of writings or drawings. But sometimes an entire object can be preserved or saved for us to find later. Recently, archaeologists with the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project found a 2,400-year-old shipwreck in the Black Sea. This intact, ancient Greek boat could teach us a lot. So why do some people want to leave it underwater?
我們對於歷史的認識，通常透過古籍、古畫等斷簡殘篇。但有時候， 歷史物件也能被完整保存，或留由後人挖掘。一群參與黑海海洋考古計畫的考古學家，最近在黑海找到一艘2,400 年前的沉船，這艘保存完整的古代希臘船隻，可幫助我們瞭解很多事。既然如此，為何發現者繼續把它留在海底？
When a boat or ship sinks at sea, it’s called a shipwreck. We don’t know exactly how many shipwrecks there are, but researchers estimate there have been more than three million throughout all of human history. That’s a lot of treasure! Shipwrecks could hold gold, silver or precious jewels, but they may contain something even more valuable—historical artifacts. These sunken “time capsules” are priceless.
The shipwreck of RMS Titanic is so famous that there is even a movie about it! It was supposed to be unsinkable, but unfor¬tunately Titanic sank in 1912. Although Titanic lies on the seabed, hundreds of ar¬tifacts have been excavated from it. Other shipwrecks, like the Mary Rose, have been removed from the sea. The English warship from the 1500s and the artifacts it held are now on display.
歷史上最知名的沉船，當然就是鐵達尼號，甚至還有一部電影拿它當主題。鐵達尼號本應永不沉沒的，但不幸卻在1912 年發生沉船事件。雖然鐵達尼號船上數百件文物已被挖掘上岸，但船身仍然沉在海床上。有些沉船如瑪麗玫瑰號則被打撈出水。這艘1500 年代的英國戰艦及船上文物打撈後，公開展示供人參觀。
Not all archaeologists dig up dinosaur bones. Some look for shipwrecks instead. They’re called mari¬time or marine archaeologists. Like all archaeolo¬gists, these underwater scientists have to figure out the best way to study objects without damag¬ing them. Carefully removing shipwrecks from the sea sounds like a great idea, but is usually very difficult and expensive. That’s why many say we should just study shipwrecks under the sea.
In 2001, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Or-ganization (UNESCO) decided that shipwrecks and other underwater artifacts should be protected because they are important parts of our world cultural heritage. UNESCO says the best way to protect these sites is “in situ preservation”. That means leaving the ship¬wrecks and artifacts where they are. Removing them should only be allowed if they are in danger of being damaged or destroyed.
聯合國教育科學文化組織（UNESCO）2001 年做出決定，主張應該做好沉船及水下文物保存，因為它們都是世界文化遺產的重要部分。至於最佳的保存的方式，UNESCO 認為是「現地保存」，亦即把沉船和文物留在海底原址。只有當沉船及文物面臨毀壞或破損危險時，才允許將它們移走，改做異地保存。
A good example of in situ preservation is in the Florida Keys Na¬tional Marine Sanctuary, USA. Just a few kilometers off shore, there is a whole trail of historic shipwrecks as well as the coral reefs that caused them. Visitors can explore the nine ships along the Shipwreck Trail with an underwater guide. Parts of the water are shallow mak¬ing it easy for beginners to visit this underwater museum.