The mission of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology is "to fill in the gaps of history and provide answers to challenging historical questions through the study and examination of the vessels that have traveled the world's waterways for millennia, carrying people and cargo, and making possible the widespread exchange of ideas, innovation and invention."
INA is a unique international organization working to locate, document, excavate and preserve significant underwater and nautical archaeological sites. Continuing the work that our founders began over 50 years ago, INA researchers are bringing to light those remnants of our collective past that speak most powerfully to us, about who we are, what we have done, and what we are capable of and doing so while upholding the highest scientific, academic and ethical standards. We spend many hours studying our finds and conserving them in our labs. We work hard to place history in museums where it can be shared. We speak about exciting new findings through the media and at conferences and seminars, publish academic and popular books and articles, our newsletter, The INA Quarterly and our yearly review, The INA Annual and we are reaching ever more people online to ultimately deepen the understanding of human history worldwide.
Today, there is a greater need than ever before to support the work done by INA. An unparalleled assault on the world's submerged history is under way from more than simply the ravages of time or the continued theft of our heritage by treasure hunters and looters who trade in history for financial gain.
Improved technology has allowed us better access to see beneath the waves and it has become clear to all who care to look, that human activity is having a devastating impact on even the most remote and isolated of environments. Deep sea trawling and dredging has been destroying entire ecosystems and along with them the very shipwrecks that INA is dedicated to preserve. The damage done on all fronts is considerable and growing in scale. We are in danger of losing again what was already lost, only this time it will be permanent. There will be no knowledge gained from these endangered sites once the ocean's floor has been scraped clean.
Help INA venture forth to reach out and save history before it is lost forever, as we excavate significant wrecks that have the potential to rewrite history. Support us in this mission and join in the excitement of exploration and discovery. Learn more about how you can help or make a donation online or contact us directly by email or telephone through the INA office in Texas (979) 845 6694.
INA has been part of the team led by the RPM Nautical Foundation that discovered the bow of the vessel Volage, blown off in the coastal waters of Albania during the Cold War. (Top) Jeff Royal, Archaeological Director with RPM, in the control room. (Bottom) RPM’s research vessel, R/V Hercules waits at the dock. Photos by Jim Delgado