(CBS News) PORTSMOUTH, England - This may be the closest thing to time-traveling: In Portsmouth, England, the salvaged remains of Henry VIII's favorite warship, the Mary Rose, went on display Friday.
Sailors and ships lost in battle at sea are not often welcomed home again -- let alone with a fanfare.
But 468 years later, that's exactly what's happened.
It was in the waters off Portsmouth, England in the year 1545, that the Mary Rose was sunk while fighting off a French invasion fleet, taking more than 400 men with her.
Now, though, a large section of the hull that was raised to the surface 30 years ago has become the centerpiece of a new museum in Portsmouth's historic dockyard.
The hull sits in an enclosed hall being dried with air pumped in through large tubes, while a figure of Henry VIII looks on at his pride and joy.
"He likes things big," said historian David Starkey. "He likes big bangs, big guns, and he's got big bucks."
Starkey told us the Mary Rose was the famously fickle Henry's favorite ship for 34 years before being lost. It seemed like the monarch liked the ship perhaps more than some of his wives. "He seems to have kept it longer," said Starkey with a laugh. "There's only one Mary Rose, there are six wives, and no marriage lasts 34 years."
Raising the Mary Rose has brought up more than just an old ship. It's brought up a time capsule of life 500 years ago -- life that was sealed and preserved by the seabed mud, but life that is now being made visible again.
Not just the weapons of war have been recovered: what the men wore, how they groomed themselves, the pets they had on board have all been preserved.
Who knew the English of the 1500s invented the Swiss army knife? Or that a preserved skeleton -- and modern forensic science -- could reconstruct a crew member who looked a lot like us?
"It is just a whole world preserved intact, oddly enough, throbbing with life," said Starkey.
And in a land built on the glories of its past, history has now been made real and brought marching into the present.