Bruseth and Turner’s book is highlights the finding of La Belle Ship wreck that happened thee centuries ago only to be excavated in latter years of twentieth century. The ship was owned by La Salle, a French renowned sailor who intended to establish a colonial in the new world.
According to the evidence, Belle carried supplies that the new colony would need, especially in the early stages of establishment. The astonishing amount of artifact collected from La Belle’s resulted to a thesis that the founding was indeed an outstanding achievement that buried myths of what happened to the ship as well as filling the gaps on information missing in previous stories, something that could not have been achieved without such amount of evidence.
Though deeply scholastic, the book is organized chronologically that is, in a story format and therefore allows those with interest in history and archeology to read and understand. To begin with, the authors have provided a backgrounder on La Belle. Readers are therefore well prepared for information contained in subsequent pages.
The background information on the ship and the owner further helps in understanding the importance of the wreck not just as part of archeological scholarship but also as part of American history.
The authors then build up their story with research on what the world thought happened to the La Belle and eventually provide a vivid description of the excavations process. All these lead to keeping the reader well interested in reading further and therefore getting more informed regarding the story, archeology and its processes.
Bruseth and Turner consulted a wide body of sources in their work. However, the greatest and most important sources are the millions of artifacts, including skeletons, collected from the wreck. Indeed, it is from these artifacts that Bruseth and Turner lead to conclusion that La Salle was well determined to establish a new colony in the New World.
Pictures of the artifacts are contained and well explained. Bruseth and Turner have described maps of the route followed by La Belle. Sources from scholars have also been used especially in relation to perceptions of La Belle whereabouts. In addition, Bruseth and Turner and the company has been
Bruseth, J. & Turner, T. (2007). A Watery Grave: The Discovery and Excavation of La Salle’s Shipwreck La Belle. Collage Station: Texas A&M University Press.
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