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Friday, January 7, 2011

The Best Schools For Nautical, Maritime, and Underwater Archaeology in the US

Education Portal has compiled an extensive list of Nautical, Maritime, and Underwater Archaeology schools for any student looking to break into the field. One of my professors is an expert in Caribbean Piracy, receiving his Ph.D from the University of Florida, which has a highly competitive department for Underwater Archaeology. I know many of the institutions here in Florida have fascinating, ongoing research in the field, so by all means, have a look when you can.

Typically nautical, maritime, and underwater archaeologists study artifacts in ocean or sea environments. However, specialization usually doesn't occur until graduate school after the student has received a BS in Anthropology.

Undergraduates, depending on the school you attend, may have nautical, underwater or maritime archaeology classes available to them prior to applying to graduate school. I encourage those of you considering this field to take as many of those classes as possible to further your knowledge and narrow down your specialty you plan to pursue.

Schools offering Underwater Archaeology

Texas A & M Nautical Archaeology

 The Nautical Archaeology Program of the Anthropology Department at Texas A& M University specializes in training graduate students in the archaeology and history of ships and seafaring.


Maritime Archaeology at UWF


Discussion of current research in Maritime Archaeology at UWF highlighting exacavation of various 16th century Spanish shipwrecks in Pensacola Bay.

 MSU NAS Underwater Archaeology Program


Admiral John Fetterman Florida State Maritime Museum


Texas A & M

The Nautical Archaeology Program (NAP) is the academic degree-granting graduate program at TAMU. Information on the program and the eight laboratories operated by the Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation (CMAC) is provided here.

Minnesota State University Check the video featured above.

University of Florida

Florida Museum of Natural History archaeologists conduct research in the Circum-Caribbean area and provide additional expertise in art, economic anthropology, ethnohistory, environmental archaeology, historic and prehistoric archaeology, theory, and zooarchaeology, among other topics. 

Florida State

Faculty are involved in long-term archaeological projects at Spanish mission sites, plantations, and on shipwrecks. Formal courses in underwater archaeology were introduced in the early 1970s. Basic scuba certification is available. Underwater techniques training is offered during the spring semester in conjunction with the university's Academic Diving Program. The underwater field school is offered every summer and usually focuses on both submerged prehistoric sites as well as historic-period shipwreck excavations. Active field projects are potentially available year-round.

University of West Florida

The University of West Florida and the state of Florida have identified 50 underwater sites. UWF archaeologists have investigated about 18 of those, with the most noteworthy being Spanish colonial ships including the two Emanuel Point shipwrecks and the Santa Rosa Island Shipwreck.

Indiana University

Research and interpretation of submerged cultural and biological resources emphasizing park development and sustainable use.

East Carolina University Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology

The Program offers a master's degree in maritime history and nautical archaeology. Combining classroom lectures and seminars with hands-on field projects and internships, the Maritime Program provides a thorough education for those interested in a professional career in maritime history and nautical archaeology.

Flinder's University

The Department of Archaeology at Flinders University has taught maritime archaeology at undergraduate level since 1996 and at postgraduate level since 2002 as well as providing supervision for MA (by research and thesis) and PhD students.

Outside United States

Bounrnemouth University Maritime Archaeology Summer School

The south coast of England boasts a rich maritime heritage, including important and famous ship wrecks. This Summer School combines expert guest lectures with field trips and practical exercises to deliver an unforgettable learning experience. The classroom-based sessions will be delivered by guest lecturers from government and industry, as well as our own experts, and will cover basic principles of maritime archaeology, including research, archaeological excavation, scientific analysis, conservation and curation of artefacts, publishing your research, and outreach activities. You’ll also undertake excursions to maritime landmarks such as the Mary Rose and HMS Victory in the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth, SS Great Britain in Bristol, and the Cutty Sark and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

University of Southern Denmark

The University of Southern Denmark is based in Esbjerg on the Danish North Sea coast, the programme is internationally oriented and all teaching is in English. The two-year master's programme was not only created to provide an education in maritime archaeology, but to prepare you for a career in this field. The course is structured around skills which are necessary in the fields of heritage management, consultancy and archaeological contract work, but also benefit students who want to follow a more traditional research oriented career path. Commercial diver training At the University of Southern Denmark students have the opportunity to obtain an internationally recognised commercial SCUBA diving qualification at very low cost. As an approved commercial diving school, the masters programme can issue the Danish “SCUBA erhvervsdykker” certificate (equivalent to HSE SCUBA). Interested? As education is free in Denmark, the maritime archaeology masters course is free of charge for students from European Union/EEA countries. Only students from outside the EU/EEA are charged an annual tuition fee.

Also check out the Top Schools for Archaeology and Anthropology Students Page If your school offers a Nautical, Maritime, or Underwater Archaeology Program, please let me know and I'll update the list.

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