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As a maritime archaeologist and the Curator of Ocean Science and Technology at the Australian National Maritime Museum – Emily Jateff has a deep love for the ocean and all its inhabitants.

In 2005, Emily participated in the expedition, Last Mysteries of the Titanic, tasked with investigating the interior of the bow section of RMS Titanic using state of the art miniature remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). 

Before Emily joins the panel discussion for our special National Archaeology Week Ocean Talk this evening, we asked her some rapid fire questions.  

Emily Jateff, aboard Akademik Mystislav Keldysh. 
Emily Jateff, aboard Akademik Mystislav Keldysh before heading to Titanic. 

What was the most exciting thing about visiting the wreck of Titanic? 
Realising that it was real. Shipwrecks always have a sense of other about them, situated as they are within an alien environment.

Were you surprised by anything you saw?
That you can use cutting-edge technology to gain access deep inside the site – without negatively impacting the structure in any way. 

Why do you think the public is still so fascinated by Titanic, so many years after the disaster? 
You have the faces, names, stories, objects, the ship itself (and of course, the movie). This is everything you need to create a mythology that withstands the test of time. 

A plastic bag and sweet wrappers were just found in the deepest part of the Mariana Trench that divers have ever reached. What’s the worst sign of human-based pollution you have seen on a dive? 
When we were beginning our ascent to the surface from the Titanic, our sub became momentarily entangled in a ghost net and we were stuck. Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been lost at sea, abandoned or discarded when they've become damaged. If our sub became so easily entangled, you can just imagine the devastating effect it would have on marine wildlife.

Why should we care about wreck sites?
Archaeology addresses the tangible details. To understand our past helps us to make informed decisions about our future.

Keen to hear more about Emily’s visit to the Titanic? Join her, along with a panel of maritime archaeologists at tonight's Maritime Archaeology Mysteries Ocean Talk event.


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