Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Marine Archaeology

OER’s marine archaeology program supports efforts that help fill the gaps in our knowledge and understanding of human history and culture.  Through grants, partnerships, and the Okeanos Explorer Program we work with the science community to discover and characterize the vast and largely unknown repository of submerged cultural resources in U.S. waters and around the world.  We place a strong emphasis on expanding the use of emerging undersea technologies and on supporting new methodologies.   OER follows the research standards and management practices of the Federal Archaeology Program and those enumerated in the Annex Rules of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage.

Recent highlights include:

  • Partnering with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)  to document captured WWI German warships off the Virginia and Maryland coasts, called the Billy Mitchell Fleet that were used as targets to demonstrate the efficacy of naval aerial bombing in the 1920s.
  • Partnering in the investigation of a shipwreck in the Gulf of Mexico. At over 4000 meters and dating to the early 19th century, it is considered the most historically significant site yet discovered in the Gulf and the deepest shipwreck excavation in U.S. waters.
  • Supporting work on the continental shelf off Florida’s gulf coast to discover evidence of the earliest humans in the New World and their adaptation to rapidly changing climate at the end of the late Pleistocene.
  • Partnering with Dr. Robert Ballard and the Institute for Exploration to discover shipwrecks in the Mediterranean and Black Seas that trace the development of Western Civilization.
  • Supporting an expedition to the Yucatan to explore Mayan use of the marine and coastal environment and to discover the inherent ecological challenges they faced.

Contact Information for OER Marine Archaeology Program:

Frank Cantelas
1315 East-West Highway,
Silver Spring, MD 20910

phone: (301) 734-1017

Or submit your questions to frank.cantelas@noaa.gov