Before I read this book I had no idea nautical archaeology (i.e. shipwreck diving) was so important and so interesting. In spite of the fact that I can only dog-paddle, this book made me want to become a wreck diver. Illustrated throughout with exquisite photographs, the essays detail how the archaeologists battled unpredictable currents, varying visibility, vicious eels, grabby octopuses and the risk of getting the bends in order to rescue historical treasures from their watery grave. (In one instance they found jars of still-liquid wine. They tasted it, but apparently 847 A.D. was not a good wine year.)
All aspects of the field are covered -- from the logistics of deep water diving to the technical details involved in conservation -- and there were wrecks represented in chronological order from all over the world, in both lakes and oceans, from ancient times to the mid-20th century.
I would recommend this to anyone interested in diving, archaeology or history. I had had no idea I would enjoy it as much as I did.