The Institute of Nautical Archaeology Excavates Shipwrecks

and conducts archaeological research to shed light on the human interaction with the sea


What We Do

The Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) is a non-profit, international research organization founded in 1972 by Dr. George F. Bass †, who pioneered the science of archaeological excavation under water. The broad scope of what we do involves remote sensing, underwater excavation, digital recording, decompression diving, artifact conservation, scientific analysis, and lots and lots of research

Who We Are

For more than 40 years, INA has been affiliated with Texas A&M University (TAMU).  Numerous INA officers are faculty in TAMU’s graduate Nautical Archaeology Program (NAP), which offers an M.S. in Maritime Archaeology and Conservation and a Ph.D. in Anthropology.  In collaboration with NAP faculty, NAP graduate students, and INA research associates, INA sponsors projects all over the world.

How We Do It

INA is sustained by a dedicated, talented, and active Board of Directors.  We are also grateful for the generous support of our donors, members, and institutional partners.  Because the largest number of ancient shipwrecks INA has excavated are in Turkey, we built the Bodrum Research Center (BRC), with offices, conservation laboratories, a dormitory, and a research library.

Bringing History to Light through the Science of Shipwrecks


In 2020, the Institute of Nautical Archaeology will support more than 20 new and continuing archaeological projects around the globe. In the INA project pages you will discover more than five decades of exploration.


INA seeks to assist archaeologists and researchers by providing institutional backing for fundraising activities, loaning equipment, or providing modest grant funding for research and fieldwork.


Get acquainted with the INA Quarterly. Our news and information magazine features current projects undertaken by INA Research Associates, Faculty and Affiliated Scholars.
Becoming an INA member is one of the best ways to support our projects around the world.

George F. Bass One of TIME Magazine’s Great Scientists

The Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) would not exist were it not for the vision of our Founder George F. Bass †, the Father of Underwater Archaeology. In 1960 George directed the first scientific, archaeological excavation of a shipwreck, following the same principles and precision that guided terrestrial excavations. In the 1970s he founded INA and then found INA an academic home at Texas A&M University. His many contributions to the field of nautical archaeology were celebrated most recently in 2018 when he was named one of TIME Magazine’s Great Scientists: The Geniuses and Visionaries Who Transformed Our World. How does it feel to be in the company of Albert Einstein, Galileo Galilei, and Howard Carter? Bass says he is “flattered and thrilled.” INA is deeply honored too! Congratulations George!

“Since at least the Bronze Age, seafaring has been key to cultural progress. Ships are in some cases the most technologically advanced equipment a culture would develop—their space shuttles. So to really understand the ancients, you have to be able to understand how they approached the sea, and the only way to do that is to excavate shipwrecks.”

George Bass †Founder, The Institute of Nautical Archaeology

Join Us

Texas A&M Nautical Archaeology Program

Latest news

November 24, 2021 in News & Events

Join INA on an Archaeological Tour of Turkey!

Follow in the footsteps of George Bass, Father of Underwater Archaeology, along the ancient coast of Turkey! Take a journey…
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November 3, 2020 in News & Events

2021 Notable Award Recipients

INA staff, together with faculty and graduate students of the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University, congratulate the recipients…
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