Micronesian canoe off Satawal
Steve Thomas photo
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A fascinating documentary about the world's greatest seafaring people.
Filming interview with Mau Piailug on Satawal, Caroline Islands
To purchase The Navigators go to
Documentary Educational Resources
Producer Sam Low and Director Boyd Estus confer about a scene on Satawal
Associate Producer Sheila Curran Bernard in Hawaii
Soundman Eric Taylor with archeologist Patrick Kirch in the Halawa Valley - Molokai, Hawaii.
Assistant Cameraman Roger Haydock on SV Dorcas with men from Satawal.
A NOVA documentary about the quest for speed at the world famous Indianapolis 500 automobile race.
Filming Fast Cars - at Laguna Seca, California
Film and Television Sam Low's Filmography
The Ancient Mariners
a film by Sam Low
for the Odyssey Series of PBS programs
Diver leaps from barge anchored over Byzantine shipwreck near Yassi Ada, Turkey
Cinematographer and director, Werner Bundschuh, filming for the Ancient Mariners in Greece
The Ancient Mariners follows nautical archaeologists as they excavate three shipwrecks in the depths of the Eastern Mediterranean and as they analyze their finds in the laboratory. The three ships, dating from before 300 B.C. to 1025 A.D., tell the story of a significant change in the methods of ship construction - a change reflecting broader alterations in social, economic, and political conditions.
At Serse Liman, Turkey, George Bass, the founder of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA), led an investigation of a ship that sank in 1025 A.D. As we see it before excavation begins, the wreck is barely noticeable on the seabed; but the ship's cargo, mostly broken glass, appears as the archaeologist divers remove silt with an airlift. Showing the huge collection at Bodrum, Turkey, Bass explains that the ship must have been carrying glass for eventual recycling. Frederick Van Dorninick shows the elaborate methods for preserving the fragile pieces of the ship's hull on land. Michael Katzev, also associated with INA, excavated a Greek merchant ship that sank off Kyrenia on Cypress in the fourth century, B.C. The ship carried a cargo of wine in large amphoras. Richard Steffy learns from making a model of the ship that it was built quite differently from the Serce Liman ship. This "hull-first" construction process required not only more labor but a great deal more wood. Lionel Casson tells us that the craftsmanship of the Kyrenia ship was made possible by the use of slave labor, on which Greek society then depended.
George Bass had earlier excavated another shipwreck near Yassi Ada, an island off Turkey, that helps to explain the change in ship construction. The Yassi Ada ship dates from the seventh century A.D. and its construction fell somewhere between hull-first and later frame-first methods.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
TV: 'ANCIENT MARINERS'
The episode shows how modern scientists have recreated from wreckage found at sea bottom near Greece, Turkey and Cyprus the way ancient shipbuilders built the sturdy craft that carried cargoes. They have also learned about the crews and the civilizations the ships served.
Three antique ships are involved in this program, one from the fourth century B.C., another from A.D. 625 and the third from the 11th century. The scenes shift from underwater sites to the Nautical Archeology Institute at Texas A & M University. From blackened fragments of wood, from thousands of lumpish remains of amphora containers, entire ships and cargoes are reconstructed. Dick Steffy, a marine historian and craftsman, makes models from the evidence and tells how he learns about the thinking of the ancient shipmakers by trying to reproduce their work.
This is more than a program about ships and history; it is a most absorbing account of research process, of forensic investigation, of the scientific mind applied to the humanities. ''Odyssey'' is good at this sort of thing, and this first showing, with Michael Ambrosino as executive producer, Sam Low as producer and Werner Bundschuh as director, gets the season off to a fine start.
To purchase The Ancient Mariners please see: http://www.der.org/films/ancient-mariners.html
Out of the Past
Eight films for PBS on the rise and fall of
the ancient Maya
Cambridge Studios and WQED-Pittsburgh
Sam Low - Series Producer
filming excavation of a burial in Copan, Honduras
for Out of the Past
filming for Out of the Past
atop a pyramid in Tikal, Guatemala
Off-line editing at Cambridge Studios north
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