Sir Robert Marx has been described as the true father of underwater archaeology. He is a pioneer among American scuba divers and best known for his work with shipwrecks and sunken treasure.
Now, the community is invited to hear him discuss the history of exploration and discovery in the Pacific Ocean during a free public lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the Gleason Performing Arts Center on the campus of Florida Institute of Technology.
The lecture, “History of Exploration of the Pacific,” is sponsored by Florida Tech and hosted by the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
Marx, who has authored over 60 books, will use illustrations and narration to highlight the maritime navigation of explorers and traders in regions of the Pacific, including Australasia, Polynesia, and Melanesia.
Polynesian travelers reached nearly all the Pacific islands by 1200 A.D., followed by Asian navigation in Southeast Asia and West Pacific. During the Middle Ages, Muslim traders linked the Middle East and East Africa to the coasts of southern China and much of the Malay Archipelago.
Documentary and archeological evidence indicating that Chinese and other Asian navigators likely reached the west coast of the United States as early as 2000 B.C. will also be presented.
During the golden age of Dutch exploration (ca. 1560-1720s), Dutch explorers charted most of Australia and numerous other areas of the Pacific.
Starting at the same time, and stretching over the next 250 years, the Spanish dominated the transpacific trade with the Manila galleons that traveled between Mexico and the Philippines.
Marx himself has explored shipwrecks and submerged ruins, often covering the same vast expanses of the Pacific that explorers did centuries ago.
For more information on the lecture, call 321-674-8096.