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Dragon Sea: A True Tale of Treasure, Archeology, and Greed Off the Coast of Vietnam

Dragon Sea: A True Tale of Treasure, Archeology, and Greed Off the Coast of Vietnam Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"[A] fast-paced high-seas drama."--Outside

 

When Oxford archeologist Mensun Bound—dubbed the “Indiana Jones of the Deep” by the Discovery Channel—teamed up with a financier to salvage a sunken trove of fifteenth-century porcelain, it seemed a dream enterprise. The stakes were high: The Hoi An wreck lay hundreds of feet down in a typhoon-prone stretch of water off the coast of Vietnam known as the Dragon Sea. Raising its contents required saturation diving, a crew of 160, and a fleet of boats. But the potential rewards were equally high: Bound would revolutionize thinking about Vietnamese ceramics, and his partner would make a fortune auctioning off the pieces.

Hired as the projects manager, Frank Pope watched the tumultuous drama of the Hoi An unfold. In Dragon Sea he delivers an engrossing tale of danger, adventure, and ambition—a fascinating lesson in what happens when scholarship and money join forces to recover lost treasure.

 

"[A]n engaging account that delves into the ethical conundrums of marine salvage, the deadly physics of the deep ocean and the roiling waters of professional subterfuge . . . Pope's impassioned, detailed reporting draws us into the story."--The New York Times

 

FRANK POPE has worked on underwater expeditions under the auspices of Oxford MARE (Maritime Archeological Research and Excavation), including the salvage of Lord Nelsons flagship Agamemnon. He divides his time between London and Nairobi.

Synopsis:

In THE DRAGON SEA, Frank Pope recounts the story of a highly successful yet also ill-fated underwater archeological expedition off the coast of Vietnam. For years, fisherman in one particular stretch of water that not just been pulling fish up in their nets but 15th-century Chinese porcelain. Unable to fund an expedition itself, the Vietnamese government authorized Mensun Bound, an Oxford University archaeologist, to excavate the site. Bound teamed up with a Malasian businessman named Ong Soo Hin, who offered to pay for the excavation in exchange for the right to auction off some of the precious cargo recovered. Things went well until typhoon season arrived. The expedition was in mortal danger and the relationship between Bound and Hin disintegrated. Frank Pope was there through it all, and tells the full story of this expedition and the stakes involved, and shows how the unholy alliance of archeologists and profit can lead to disastrous consequences.

Synopsis:

Frank Pope pulls back the curtain on the intensely competitive underworld of shipwrecks in this thrilling story of treasure hunting gone wrong. When Oxford archeologist Mensun Boundand#151;dubbed the "Indiana Jones of the Deep" by the Discovery Channeland#151;teamed up with a financier to salvage a sunken trove of fifteenth-century porcelain, it seemed a dream enterprise. The stakes were high: The Hoi An wreck lay hundreds of feet down in a typhoon-prone stretch of water off the coast of Vietnam known as the Dragon Sea. Raising its contents required saturation diving, a crew of 160, and a fleet of boats. But the potential rewards were equally high: Bound would revolutionize thinking about Vietnamese ceramics, and his partner would make a fortune auctioning off the pieces. Or so they thought. In Dragon Sea, Pope delivers an engrossing tale of danger, adventure, and ambitionand#151;a fascinating lesson in what happens when scholarship and money join forces to recover lost treasure.

About the Author

FRANK POPE has worked on underwater expeditions under the auspices of Oxford MARE (Maritime Archeological Research and Excavation), including the salvage of Lord Nelsonand#8217;s flagship Agamemnon. He divides his time between London and Nairobi.

Table of Contents

Foreword 

Prologue: South China Sea, Mid-fifteenth Century 

Introduction: Grandchildren of the Dragon 

Part One

 1 The Archeologist

 2. The Businessman 

 3. The Catch 

 4 A Trial Run 

 5. The Grinning Mandarin 

 6. Mensuns Dilemma 

Part Two

 7. Dockyard Drama 

 8. Lost and Found 

 9. The Dragon Stirs 

10. A Second Chance 

11. Blowdown 

12. The First Haul 

13. Indulging Mensun 

14. The Dragon Strikes 

15. Hope and Pray 

16. Fresh Blood 

17. Ongs Confidence 

18. Dividing Loyalties 

19. Breaking Point 

20. An Ominous Wind 

21. Taking Stock 

Part Three

22. The Task Ahead 

23. The Mandarins Revenge 

24  Academic Attack 

25. Final Reckoning 

Epilogue: The Gibbon & the Sun 

Acknowledgments 

A Note on Sources 

Index 

Product Details

ISBN:
9780156033299
Subtitle:
A True Tale of Treasure, Archeology, and Greed off the Coast of Vietnam
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Author:
Pope, Frank
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Ships & Shipbuilding - History
Subject:
Asia - Southeast Asia
Subject:
Archaeology
Subject:
Ships & Shipbuilding - Shipwrecks
Subject:
Antiquities
Subject:
Underwater archaeology
Subject:
Vietnam Antiquities.
Subject:
Pottery, Vietnamese
Subject:
Archaeology-General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20071203
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Line drawings throughout
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.73 lb

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » General
Transportation » Nautical » Nautical Lore

Dragon Sea: A True Tale of Treasure, Archeology, and Greed Off the Coast of Vietnam
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 368 pages Harvest Books - English 9780156033299 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
In THE DRAGON SEA, Frank Pope recounts the story of a highly successful yet also ill-fated underwater archeological expedition off the coast of Vietnam. For years, fisherman in one particular stretch of water that not just been pulling fish up in their nets but 15th-century Chinese porcelain. Unable to fund an expedition itself, the Vietnamese government authorized Mensun Bound, an Oxford University archaeologist, to excavate the site. Bound teamed up with a Malasian businessman named Ong Soo Hin, who offered to pay for the excavation in exchange for the right to auction off some of the precious cargo recovered. Things went well until typhoon season arrived. The expedition was in mortal danger and the relationship between Bound and Hin disintegrated. Frank Pope was there through it all, and tells the full story of this expedition and the stakes involved, and shows how the unholy alliance of archeologists and profit can lead to disastrous consequences.

"Synopsis" by ,
Frank Pope pulls back the curtain on the intensely competitive underworld of shipwrecks in this thrilling story of treasure hunting gone wrong. When Oxford archeologist Mensun Boundand#151;dubbed the "Indiana Jones of the Deep" by the Discovery Channeland#151;teamed up with a financier to salvage a sunken trove of fifteenth-century porcelain, it seemed a dream enterprise. The stakes were high: The Hoi An wreck lay hundreds of feet down in a typhoon-prone stretch of water off the coast of Vietnam known as the Dragon Sea. Raising its contents required saturation diving, a crew of 160, and a fleet of boats. But the potential rewards were equally high: Bound would revolutionize thinking about Vietnamese ceramics, and his partner would make a fortune auctioning off the pieces. Or so they thought. In Dragon Sea, Pope delivers an engrossing tale of danger, adventure, and ambitionand#151;a fascinating lesson in what happens when scholarship and money join forces to recover lost treasure.
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