Last week, I was on the Texas A&M University campus, and I stopped by the headquarters of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology to see the display of the “Lost Ship Model.” The rendering of an Egyptian ship from about 1400 BC was my father’s first true research model and figures prominently in The Man Who Thought Like a Ship. Presumed to have deteriorated or been discarded decades ago, it was discovered last year in Philadelphia.
The new display includes not only the model but some of the tools that my father used to build it, as well as the hobby show trophy he won for it in 1963. The display is rounded out with a photo of the Kyrenia Ship reconstruction, a copy of my father’s MacArthur Foundation award certificate and the July 1963 issue of National Geographic, which contains the article that prompted my father to first write to George Bass and propose using models to reconstruct ancient shipwrecks.
It’s taken more than a year to complete the display because of renovations to the nautical archaeology building at A&M. It’s gratifying to see that the “Lost Ship Model” has finally found its home.