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Training and Research

The field of underwater archaeology involves the work of archaeologists and specialists in related fields, such as conservation, conservation science, and history. Underwater archaeologists attend graduate programs generally housed within archaeology or marine studies programs at universities in Australia, North America, and Europe. Shorter-term workshops in underwater archaeology take place regularly in Thailand, sponsored jointly by UNESCO and local organizations. Discussions are underway about establishing training programs in China as well.

Underwater archaeology is an expensive and extensive undertaking. Excavations involve collaborative, interdisciplinary teams and often continue over several seasons. In addition, the analysis and publication of data can continue for many years after the active excavating has ended. Research institutes dedicated to nautical archaeology play a crucial role in organizing fieldwork and providing laboratories, libraries, and other facilities to support the work of professionals in this field.

There are a number of regular congresses where research in underwater archaeology is presented—a crucial means for disseminating new information to a far-flung and diverse field. Additionally, some projects have public websites that post updates about their work for the field and interested public.

Please note: The programs and organizations listed here are included as a resource for further information. Their presence on this website does not imply their support of the Shipwrecked exhibition.

University Programs

Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA
University of Southampton, Great Britain
East Carolina University, Program in Maritime Studies, Greenville, North Carolina, USA
Flinders University, Maritime Studies, Adelaide, South Australia
University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida, USA
Centre for Underwater Archaeology, Tamil University, Thanjavur, India
Centre for Conservation of Cultural Property and the Environment in the Tropics (CCCPET) at the University of Santo Tomas, Philippines
Maritime Archaeology Programme at the University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Japan
Centre for Maritime Archaeology and Underwater Cultural Heritage
Alexandria University, Egypt

Research Institutes

The Institute of Nautical Archaeology, College Station, Texas, USA
Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology (AIMA), Australia
Centre for Maritime Archaeology, University of Southampton, Great Britain
The Society for Nautical Research, Great Britain
Institute of Archaeology, Vietnam
Asian Research Institute of Underwater Archaeology (ARIUA)
Asian Academy of Heritage Management (AAHM)
Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS)
Recanati Institute of Maritime Studies, Haifa University, Israel

Academic Projects and Conferences

MARES Project, University of Exeter, Great Britain
Managing Cultural Heritage Underwater (MACHU)
Maritime Archaeological Association of New Zealand
Asian Academy for Heritage Management (AAHM) Inaugural Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage

In 1998, sea-cucumber divers stumbled upon a coral covered conglomeration of bowls and other objects from the Belitung cargo. Photo by M. Flecker.

The Freer|Sackler is currently closed for renovations, updates, and gallery reinstallation. The popular exhibition Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan is still on view in the International Gallery. (Enter through the Ripley Center.) Please join us for our weekend-long reopening celebration on October 14 and 15, 2017.