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Nautical Archaeology Program

Nautical Archaeology

Nautical archaeology is the study of the remains of ships in the context of the cultures that created and used them. By carefully excavating and recording shipwrecks, then conserving and analyzing the recovered artifacts, it is possible to gain a deeper understanding of the seafaring past. Archaeological investigations have shed light on the history of wooden ship construction and related technology, shipboard life, the development of maritime trade and economic systems, naval warfare, and the role of seafaring in exploration and contact between cultures.

The Nautical Archaeology Program (NAP) of the Anthropology Department at Texas A&M University (TAMU) specializes in training graduate students in the archaeology and history of ships and seafaring. Courses focus primarily, although not exclusively, on maritime activity in the ancient Mediterranean and Medieval Europe, as well as world-wide seafaring in the post-Medieval era.

Work Site

Resources and Facilities

The wide range of archaeological research conducted by the faculty and students of the NAP is assisted with administrative support, equipment, and facilities provided by three organizations. These are the Department of Anthropology and the Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation (both a part of Texas A&M University) and the affiliated, but private, non-profit Institute of Nautical Archaeology. Each brings a variety of resources and strengths that can be utilized for field projects, laboratory studies, and archival research. In addition, the vast research and scientific resources of Texas A&M University, one of the major research universities in the United States, add immeasurably to what we do.

Nautical Archaeology Program Statement, including Requirements for Graduate Students