Dobsonian Telescopy Institute
Welcome to the SAGA Website!
The acronym SAGA is apropos with respect to the name of our organization because it represents two concepts: Who we are as in the Shipwreck Archaeology Guild of America, and the word saga as in stories, accounts and histories (e.g., a saga of the sea). Shipwreck archaeology as applied to the golden age of the tall ships (multimasted sailing ships) from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries and twentieth century warships strewn along the seafloor of the eastern coastline of the United States—an area that also consists of sunken World War II German submarines known as Torpedo Alley—is certainly a saga of the lives, ships and treasures that have been lost to the underwater world.

In the SAGA website banner, reference is made to "...the EEZ of the North American Continent...". The abbreviation EEZ stands for Exclusive Economic Zone, and represents a coastal body of ocean domain that extends from a nation's coastline to a distance of two-hundred nautical miles seaward. An EEZ is a sea zone prescribed by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea over which a state has special rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources. SAGA promotes America's interest in the preservation of all shipwrecks within this zone for conservation of our underwater heritage, including the US territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.

Maritime versus Shipwreck Archaeology
Maritime archaeology is a broad term that includes anything found within the sea: ships, planes, submerged ruins of ancient habitats, cultural artifacts, and maritime infrastructure such as jetties, harbors, and lighthouses. Shipwreck archaeology is specific to, and focuses primarily on, “ships” and includes underwater shipwrecks, shipwrecks on land (or partially submerged), ship burials, and artifacts discovered in and around a shipwreck site. Shipwreck archaeology is important because shipwrecks offer a rare glimpse into the past, and contain information about the people and life onboard the ship. Shipwrecks are non-renewable resources and once destroyed or disturbed they are gone forever. For a more detailed comparison between maritime and shipwreck archaeology, click on Maritime vs Shipwreck Archaeology located in the upper left corner of this web page.

Informative and Fun
We strive to make your visit to our website both informative and fun. Some visitors have inquired why we refer to SAGA as an acronym while referring to EEZ as an abbreviation. We have included Getting It Right sidebar panels on this website (like the one on this web page) to clarify or explain why we sometimes use similar forms of grammar, phrases or references in different ways. We hope you find these to be tidbits of interesting information.

An Introduction to Shipwreck Archaeology
Each fragile shipwreck is a unique time capsule of our past that generally contains invaluable artifacts: encrusted cannons, ancient wine bottles, and other historical treasures. For an introductory primer about exploring shipwrecks—and to determine if membership in SAGA and its Shipwreck Archaeology Course may be of interest to you—click on the gold link located in the right sidebar panel titled Intro to SAGA.

An Invitation
We invite you to view our website to learn more about SAGA, our goals, and our passion for shipwreck archaeology. If you share our enthusiasm and mission for discovering, protecting, preserving, and recording underwater shipwrecks, we would like to hear from you. Feel free to send us a line or two via email and introduce yourself. We enjoy and actively foster constructive relationships with all people of similar interests in exploring the wonders to be discovered in the seas.

Getting It Right
The difference between an acronym and an abbreviation is that an acronym is an abbreviation that can be pronounced as a word. For example, SCUBA (or Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus). However, BMW (or Bavarian Motor Works) cannot be pronounced as a word, therefore it is an abbreviation.
Intro to SAGA
Click Here to open the introductory primer about the archaeology of shipwrecks and SAGA membership.

Note: A prompt may appear on your computer screen that looks like this:

Intro to SAGA.ppsx
Open File

Click on Open File to access the presentation.