and colloquia

special events

and the deep sea
conference '02

toward a new
conference '99




conference :: program :: photos :: attendees :: contact

A conference sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
and the Institute for Exploration
January 29-31, 1999
Cambridge, MA

In recent years, advances in deep submergence technologies have made it possible to find, document, sample, and excavate archaeological sites in deep water (i.e. 200 to 6000 meters). While these practices have been conforming to scientific and archaeological standards, we are only beginning to develop archaeological procedures and theoretical frameworks for remote and robotic operations. These foundations will require a unique fusion of scientific, technical, archaeological, and logistical expertise. Convening experts from these fields in a focused seminar will allow archaeological research in the deep sea to continue to evolve as a truly integrated scientific practice.

The conference on Deep Sea Archaeology, held 29-31 January, 1999 at MIT, brought together a small number of respected scholars from various academic fields to articulate and discuss the intellectual foundations of this emerging science. Theoretical and field archaeologists and cultural resource managers came together with engineers, and ocean scientists to chart the future course of deep water archaeology. A combination of presented papers, commentary, and panel discussions, addressed the following issues:

  • Research and survey design

  • Theoretical frameworks

  • Land and sea integration

  • New archaeological questions

  • Deep sea operations

  • Site formation in the deep sea

  • Relation between shallow and deep-water

  • Archaeology as a driver of technology development

  • Cultural resource management of deep water wrecks

  • Ethics

  • Conservation -- special problems in the deep sea

  • Legal protections

  • Funding paradigms

The proceedings from the conference, which we plan to publish as an edited volume from a leading academic press, will define a solid foundation for the field to move forward.




Deep Water Archaeology Research Group
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Ave. Rm e51-194
Cambridge, MA 02139



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