Abstract: Underwater Archaeology: the New Holy Grails


Underwater archaeology is now entering the world of deep sea exploration and high technology, inaugurating what some believe will be a new golden age of exploration comparable to the pioneering days of terrestrial archaeology the 19th and early 20th centuries. Along with these new capabilities come new quests and possibilities: we call them the 'Holy Grails' of underwater archaeology. In this lecture I wish to share the research and techniques that have led to my own underwater discoveries, as well as my hopes and expectations for the future of the discipline. This lecture is generously illustrated with images and video ongoing underwater projects in the Mediterranean region. We will explore the practical developments that are aiding our pursuit of archaeology's most coveted and elusive discoveries, and also consider how such quests intersect with our primary obligation to be patient and thorough researchers of the cultural landscape.

This lecture will be very wide-ranging and so there is no particularly appropriate bibliography. For those interested in learning more about underwater archaeology, particularly in a Mediterranean-Classical context, the popular books of Dr. George Bass are an excellent starting point.

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