Synopses & Reviews
"[A] fast-paced high-seas drama."--Outside
When Oxford archeologist Mensun Bounddubbed the Indiana Jones of the Deep” by the Discovery Channelteamed 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 ambitiona 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.
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.
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 graduated with Honors in Zoology. He then joined Oxford Universityandlt;brandgt;MARE, assisting on the archaeological excavations of HMS Agamemnon, Nelson'sandlt;brandgt;favourite flagship that sank in 1809, and the San Salvador, a Spanishandlt;brandgt;troopship wrecked in 1812, before finding himself at the centre of the Hoiandlt;brandgt;An Wreck drama. He has published numerous specialist articles in the pressandlt;brandgt;and currently lives back in Cornwall, England.
Table of Contents
Prologue: South China Sea, Mid-fifteenth Centuryand#160;
Introduction: Grandchildren of the Dragonand#160;
and#160;4and#160;A Trial Runand#160;
and#160;5.and#160;The Grinning Mandarinand#160;
and#160;8.and#160;Lost and Foundand#160;
and#160;9.and#160;The Dragon Stirsand#160;
10.and#160;A Second Chanceand#160;
12.and#160;The First Hauland#160;
14.and#160;The Dragon Strikesand#160;
15.and#160;Hope and Prayand#160;
20.and#160;An Ominous Windand#160;
22.and#160;The Task Aheadand#160;
23.and#160;The Mandarinand#8217;s Revengeand#160;
24and#160; Academic Attackand#160;
Epilogue: The Gibbon and the Sunand#160;
A Note on Sourcesand#160;