Friday, January 31, 2014

New and Noteworthy--- Stepping Back To 1856 On The Steamship Arabia

Treasure In  A Cornfield: The Discovery and Excavation Of The Steamship Arabia, Greg Hawley, Paddle Wheel Publishing, 2005, 223 pp., 106 color photographs, 3 b/w photographs, 2 color illustrations, 35 color diagrams, 13 b/w diagrams, 1 color map, glossary, appendix,  $23.95.

The steamship Arabia was built in Brownsville, PA on the Monongahela River. It sank in 1856 during a flood on the Missouri. After sinking the deck was swept clear by the flood. The hold filled with sediment. The contents were excavated in 1998. Here is the story of the finding, excavation and preservation of material goods and one skeleton from 1856. The exhibit is coming to Pittsburgh's Heinz History center during the late spring and early summer of 2014.

 Treasure In  A Cornfield's diagrams, both black/white and color are well drawn and essential for understanding the steamship, its contents and the destruction of its deck. Color photographs of the artifacts are profuse and show the details of steam engines and the porcelain china, color and fibers of the textiles and the weapons.  Those with an interest in the Civil War will find amazing illustrations of material culture of the era. Those with an interest in riverboats on the Potomac, Ohio, Mississippi, Cumberland and Tennessee rivers will easily be able to imagine how mountains of goods were moved by Federal inland navies in support of Federal armies. Those who enjoy prospecting on ground marched and camped on by the armies will be intrigued by the story of the discovery and excavation of the steamship Arabia over 150 years after its sinking. Treasure In  A Cornfield: The Discovery and Excavation Of The Steamship Arabia, is written in a style that is accessible to general readers;there is a glossary of terms  for use by landlubbers. The steamship's museum is in Kansas City and has a website here.

1 comment:

Judy Barnes said...

Really cool post, highly informative and professionally written..Good Job
Civil War Gifts