School of History, Classics & Archaeology

Menu

New book on the detailed survey of one the most famous shipwrecks in the world

The results of a shipwreck survey project directed by Dr Jon Henderson of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology were published this week.

HCA Images from "Diving the Thistlegorm"

"Diving the Thistlegorm" is a unique in-depth look at one of the world’s most visited shipwrecks, the World War II British Merchant Navy steamship SS Thistlegorm. Using cutting edge photogrammetry and digital 3D modelling techniques, views of the wreck and its fascinating cargo are presented in ways which would have previously been impossible.

The SS Thistlegorm was sunk by German bombers in 1941 while carrying supplies to support the allied war effort in Egypt. The vessel was carrying a range of provisions including trains, aircraft parts, trucks and motorbikes, all of which now lie 32 metres down at the bottom of the Red Sea. Five Royal Navy gunners and four merchant sailors lost their lives in the attack.

"Diving the Thistlegorm", is a collaboration between Dr Jon Henderson, renowned underwater photographer, Alex Mustard MBE, underwater photogrammetric specialist, Simon Brown and digital artist, Mike Postons from Deep 3D media.

Dr Henderson said: "The thing about underwater sites and the importance of underwater cultural heritage is that the only people who've ever seen it are divers. However, we are now at a point where we have the technology to reconstruct these sites. The photogrammetric survey was one of the largest ever carried out on a shipwreck, with 24,307 high resolution pictures taken to create detailed and highly accurate photorealistic models of the wreck."

The Thistlegorm survey is part of a wider project funded by the AHRC ‘Wrecks at Risk: stabilising and enhancing submerged cultural heritage in the Red Sea’ - www.wrecksatrisk.com

Dr Jon Henderson's staff profile