Underwater sites are among the most challenging environments for archaeologists and cultural heritage managers. It is necessary to engage stakeholders of all types, such as fisher, divers, and local communities, in order to properly preserve and protect submerged sites. This talk examines these challenges, as well as the potential, of maritime archaeology through current research projects. Foremost is the Fourni Archipelago in Greece, which is a small collection of islands near the large islands of Ikaria and Samos. Overlooked until recently, Fourni has revealed the largest known concentration of ancient shipwrecks. It is a wealth of information on ancient navigation and trade, serving as a key anchorage along an arterial trade route connecting the Black Sea and North Aegean to Cyprus, the Levant, and Egypt. Working with the government, sponge divers, fishermen, and local stakeholders, research at Fourni demonstrates the challenges of preservation as well as the potential of underwater sites to address big question in archaeology.
Dr. Peter B. Campbell is a research fellow at the British School at Rome. His research generally examines maritime connectivity and cultural interaction in the ancient Mediterranean through harbors, shipwrecks, and sunken cities. He co-directs the Fourni Underwater Survey in Greece, which recently located 53 shipwrecks, and previously directed projects in Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, Spain, and United States. Beyond maritime connectivity, his recent edited volume The Archaeology of Underwater Caves examines ritual use of watery places and he frequently works on policy issues relating to the looting and trafficking of cultural heritage. He is a regular contributor to the Guardian's science network.
Peter is the archaeological director for the Albanian Center for Marine Research, underwater archaeologist for the Cave Archaeology Investigation & Research Network, and a research associate with RPM Nautical Foundation. He has served on ethical boards such as the Society for American Archaeology’s Committee on Ethics and Institute for Archaeologists’ Maritime Affairs Group. He is on the Register of Professional Archaeologists and member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.