INA – Institute of Nautical Archaeology Institute of Nautical Archaeology Tue, 23 Jan 2018 00:48:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Ships that Changed History Wed, 05 Apr 2017 09:00:00 +0000 A two-day symposium with presentations on four excavated shipwrecks which have dramatically altered our understanding of maritime history: Vasa, Mary Rose, La Belle, and the Uluburun ship. Read more about the event here.

INA’s 2017 Fieldwork & Research Projects Mon, 06 Feb 2017 19:42:26 +0000 In 2017, the Institute of Nautical Archaeology will support more than 20 new and continuing archaeological projects around the globe. Much of this research is driven by the graduate students (both current and former) and faculty members of Texas A&M University’s Nautical Archaeology Program, as well as INA Research Associates. Among the projects which received INA funding or support for 2017 are:

Shipwreck Excavation at Highbourne Cay (Bahamas)
Nicholas Budsberg (Texas A&M University)
The 2017 Claude Duthuit Archaeology grant was awarded for the excavation of what may be the earliest known European ship in the Americas, dated to the beginning of the Age of Exploration (1492-1520). In 1986 INA partially excavated the wreck, which is likely either an Iberian caravel or nao, but modern methods will ensure an improved study of the hull. Read more about the history of INA work at this site: Highbourne Cay Iberian Shipwreck.

Underwater Survey in Fourni (Greece)
Peter Campbell and George Koutsouflakis
This survey made headlines in 2016 when archaeologists discovered 45 shipwrecks after just 33 days of diving. The Fourni Channel is the safest of three north-south sailing routes in the eastern Aegean Sea, resulting in a large volume of traffic passing the archipelago. This year, they will undertake 3D mapping of each site, artifact collection, and multibeam remote sensing. INA is delighted to lend support to this important project! Learn more here: Fourni Underwater Survey.

Burgaz Harbors Research Project (Turkey)
Numan Tuna (Middle East Technical University), Elizabeth S. Greene (Brock University), and Justin Leidwanger (Stanford University) 

Pending permission from the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, this collaborative initiative with Brock University, Stanford University, and Middle East Technical University will explore the four harbors associated with the Archaic through late antique maritime site of Burgaz on the Datça Peninsula, Turkey. Begun in 2011, the co-directors of this project are conducting an ongoing comprehensive survey and excavation of the four harbors and associated onshore port facilities. Learn more here: Burgaz Harbors Research Project.

Underwater Archaeology of the Roman Site Kaukana (Sicily)
Massimo Capulli (University of Udine)
In the stretch of Italian coast between Punta Braccetto and the seaside village of Casuzze exist several landings and coastal shelters which delineate the Greco-Roman site of Kaukana, which is connected to trade routes between the East, Tripoli, Egypt, Rome, Malta, and Sicily. This sheltered harbor persisted through the Byzantine, Arab, and Norman eras. The aim of the Kaukana Project, born from a partnership between the Department of Humanities and Cultural Heritage of the University of Udine and the Sea Superintendence of Sicily, is to survey the site for underwater cultural heritage and reconstruct Kaukana’s relationship with the rest of the Mediterranean.

Marzamemi Maritime Heritage Project (Sicily)
Justin Leidwanger (Stanford University)

This collaborative excavation, survey, and heritage management initiative focuses on the maritime landscape and seaborne communication off the southeast coast of Sicily (Italy). The concentration of accessible sites here and their location at the intersection of the eastern and western Mediterranean facilitates inquiry into long-term structures of regional and interregional maritime exchange from the early Roman era (3rd/2nd c. BC) through Late Antiquity (6th/7th c. AD). Learn more here: Marzamemi Maritime Heritage Project.

Sutiles Project – an Examination of Roman-era Laced Boats (Italy)
Staci Willis (INA)
The Sutiles Project, a collaboration between the Department of Humanities and Cultural Heritage of the University of Udine and the Superintendency of Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Landscape of Veneto, aims to study the Roman-era laced hull remains of northeastern Italy through the continued examination of the hull remains of laced boats found along the northwestern Adriatic coast (in northeastern Italy) and the associated excavation records of these remains. So far, this research has uncovered a consistent pattern of identifiable construction features and materials usage that distinguish these vessels as a separate tradition of laced boatbuilding in this region during the Roman imperial period.

Archival Research of Venetian Shipwrecks in the Levant (Venice)
Renard Gluzman (Tel-Aviv University)
The principal objective of this project is to make possible the detection and identification of shipwrecks, by matching archaeological finds with evidence found in Venice’s historical records, and to provide new evidence of shipwrecks unknown to underwater archaeologists. As most databases of ancient shipwrecks are primarily based on archaeological finds, this project aims to supplement existing knowledge with written evidence as a tool for archaeologists to incorporate historical data. Since 2015, 535 indications of shipwrecks concerning Cyprus and the Levantine coast have been documented and incorporated into an online database.

Sudjuradj Shipwreck Excavation (Croatia)
José Luis Casabán (Texas A&M University)
This projects aims to complete the excavation, digital recording, and analysis of the hull remains of the San Girolamo, a 16th-century Ragusan shipwreck which sank in 1576 at the entrance of Sudjuradj Bay on the Island of Sipan (Croatia). A preliminary survey and two partial excavations have been carried out since 2014 to document the hull remains of the 25 meter-long ship, which lies at a depth of 27-30 meters. The San Girolamo represents an unique example of the naval technology of the Republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik) during the Renaissance period. The study of its hull remains will provide a better understanding of Ragusan seafaring during the 16th century, which encompassed the Ottoman and Spanish empires on both sides of the Mediterranean.

Turtles and Maritime Networks of Trade Project (Grand Cayman)
Megan Hagseth (Texas A&M University)
This study seeks to understand the cultural implications of sea turtle consumption during the 17th and 18th centuries, examining faunal assemblages from shipwreck sites, turtle fishing camps, port communities, and others and comparing this data to the historical record.  In particular, the butchery and distribution patterns have the potential to differentiate elite turtle feasting from common consumption. A secondary goal of the project is to better understand the political and cultural events which directly contributed to the over-hunting of sea turtles and the depletion of the population.

Yukon River Steamboat Survey (Canada)
John Pollack (INA)
When the Gold Rush exploded in 1897 A.D., West Coast shipyards responded to the demand, and stern-wheelers were constructed in yards as far south as San Francisco and as far north as Dutch Harbour in the Aleutian Islands. In total, 266 stern- and side-wheeled steamboats operated on the Yukon River in Alaska and Canada. When the boom dissipated in 1900 A.D., many steamship companies either went bankrupt or were bought out by competitors, and vessels were left derelict on shore. As a result, the Yukon now contains one of the greatest intact collections of stern-wheel vessels known to exist. The Yukon River Project, initiated in 2005, aims to document the range of construction techniques used on these late 19th-century vessels. Learn more here: Yukon River Steamboat Survey.

Sea Biscuit & Salted Beef Research Project (Bermuda)
Grace Tsai (Texas A&M University)
Previous attempts to gauge the nutritional value of shipboard diets were based on historical documentation instead of laboratory data. In this project, shipboard food will be replicated using the exact ingredients and methods of preparation from the 17th century. Archaeological and historical data will be used to replicate the salted pork and beef, ship biscuit, wine and beer, and other provisions aboard Warwick, an English race-built galleon that sank in 1619. Then, a trans-Atlantic voyage will be simulated by storing the food in casks and keeping these in a ship’s hull for three months. Learn more here: Sea Biscuit & Salted Beef Research Project.

Ongoing Projects at INA’s Bodrum Research Center
In addition to the above projects, an impressive array of ongoing post-excavation research projects is based out of INA’s Bodrum Research Center in Turkey. Decades of INA surveys in Turkey have uncovered wrecks and cargoes dating from the Bronze Age to the Ottoman Empire. The most significant of these discoveries have rewritten the history books, adding a staggering volume of data to the archaeological record of ancient and medieval seafaring. Students and scholars from around the world work out of the Bodrum Research Center to survey and study the region’s shipwrecks. Annually, over a quarter of a million paying visitors tour the Museum of Underwater Archaeology where they learn about the important discoveries INA has made with its Turkish partners.

Ships of the Theodosian Harbor at Yenikapı (Turkey)

Kızılburun Late Hellenistic Column Wreck (Turkey)

Uluburun Late Bronze Age Shipwreck (Turkey)

Tektaş Burnu Classical Greek Shipwreck (Turkey)

Yassıada Byzantine Shipwreck Excavation (Turkey)

Ertuğrul Ottoman Frigate Excavation (Japan)

ARVVirazon II Completes Maiden Voyage Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:06:10 +0000 On November 6, 2016 ARV Virazon II, Orkan, Kaptan Zafer and crew arrived safely at her home port, the Yalikavak Marina, just west of Bodrum!  Learn more about Virazon II and the rest of INA’s fleet here.

Virazon II and crew after they arrived in the Yalikavak Marina.

Virazon II and crew after they arrived in the Yalikavak Marina.


Making Salted Beef (Part 2 of 3) Mon, 21 Nov 2016 06:52:24 +0000 WARNING: Once again, this series of posts is not recommended for landlubbers and those with weak stomachs. Expect images of raw and partially decayed food. Read at your own discretion.
> Enough * here to read the post

It has now been several weeks since the salted beef was put in brine. The meat, due to the salinity of the brine, floats and needs to be submerged in the brine either with a rock (this is the Colonial Williamsburg Method because the casks there are put on their heads, rather than on the roll with the bung up, which is the typical way of stowing casks), or by filling the cask up to the brim with brine so that all the meat is submerged. We used a jar, and although we filled it to the top with as much brine as possible, some of the meat from our experiment still stuck out of the brine and had to be pushed below the liquid with a bottle cap that was pressed up against the lid. As our images show, however, the bottle cap was somehow displaced shortly thereafter from its original position, allowing some of the meat to protrude above the brine–this made an unexpectedly large difference with how the meat held up.

Day 7 (08/30/2016):

Salted Beef in Brine, Aug 30, 2016

Day 17 (09/09/2016):

Salted Beef in Brine, Sept 9, 2016

Salted Beef in Brine, Sept 9, 2016

Day 24 (09/16/2016):

Salted Beef in Brine, Sept 16, 2016

Salted Beef in Brine, Sept 16, 2016

Day 34 (09/26/2016):

Salted Beef in Brine, Sept 26, 2016

Salted Beef in Brine, Sept 26, 2016

Is that mold? A bacteria colony?: Possible signs of life growing on top of the brine. Sept 26, 2016

Is that mold? A bacteria colony? Possible signs of life growing on top of the brine. Sept 26, 2016

Day 46 (10/08/2016):

Salted beef in brine, Oct 8, 2016.

Salted beef in brine, Oct 8, 2016.

We discover new forms of life! The mold has spread across the surface of the brine.

We discover new forms of life! What appears to be mold has spread across the surface of the brine.

The brine has now turned a deep red, we speculate this is due to the tannins and other chemicals from the 2 wood pieces. The muscle (red meat) on the beef is now a washed out pink/gray color. As for the mold, our hypothesis is that the saturated fat from the meat floated to the surface of the brine and created a barrier from the salt (which typically inhibits mold and bacterial growth), on which the mold could grow. If this is the reason the mold has grown in the jar, it is no wonder that sailors continually checked for leaking casks and refilled them with brine.

Check back soon for new updates!

> Read Less

*Whiffle-Whaffle: “An indecisive, time-wasting ditherer.” The author of this post discovered this list while writing the post and couldn’t resist using at least one. Apparently the word waffle comes from “The onomatopoeic waff (17th C) which means to bark or to yelp like a dog is, sad to say, virtually obsolete but its modern-day counterpart, woof (19th C), still thrives. From An Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language (1808) by John Jamieson we gleam that since at least 1678,waff and waif meant “the act of waving” and “to fluctuate” whereas waff alone, denoted someone who was worthless.” Fascinating.

Public Lecture: Tracing Cultural Contact Along The Silk Road An Example From Ancient Glass Mon, 14 Nov 2016 20:43:39 +0000 Public lecture by Dr. Julian Henderson, Nottingham University.  Lecture on November 15, 2016 at 5:30 on the TAMU campus at College Station, Anthropology building, room 130.  All are welcome!

Call for 2016 Reports & 2017 Proposals Thu, 03 Nov 2016 15:25:44 +0000 INA is now accepting proposals for projects occurring in 2017. Visit the Project Proposal Page to download the INA Project Proposal form for 2017 projects. The Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) is a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of promoting scholarly, ethical research on shipwrecks and maritime sites around the world. INA seeks to assist archaeologists and researchers by providing institutional backing for fundraising activities, loaning equipment, or providing a modest amount of ‘seed money’ to projects.  With the exception of the Claude Duthuit Archaeology Grant, most awards do not exceed $5,000.

Directors of INA-supported projects may be eligible for equipment loan from INA.  Please visit the INA Equipment page to view a list of available items.

INA Takes Possession of ARV Virazon II Mon, 31 Oct 2016 14:48:33 +0000 This week marked an important milestone as papers were signed transferring ownership of ARV (Archaeological Research Vessel) Virazon II to INA’s Turkish company.  Captain Zafer Gül, INA archaeologist Orkan Köyağasıoğlu, and several other crew members are scheduled to leave the shipyard outside of Istanbul next week as Virazon II voyages to her new permanent berth in Palmarina outside of Bodrum.  A huge and heartfelt THANK YOU to all those talented people who worked together to make this dream a reality, but above all to Claude Duthuit, Barbara Duthuit, George Bass, John De Lapa, Orkan Köyağasıoğlu, and all of our friends at Navtek Naval Technologies, especially Orkun Özek and Ferhat Acuner.  Your hard work has blessed INA with a spectacular new tool for shipwreck archaeology.

You can follow the progress of the ship by going to the link below. Please scroll down to the chart, Latest Position, where the black arrow represents the ship and its course. VIRAZON II Marine Traffic position.


Phoenix (II) Rising Thu, 08 Sep 2016 21:43:02 +0000 shelburnefeatureimageMarmarinou measures
The Shelburne Shipyard Steamboat Graveyard Research Project, directed by Dr. Kevin Crisman (INA Vice President) and Carolyn Kennedy a Texas A&M Ph.D. student, was featured in an article on the Texas A&M University College of Liberal Arts Blog.  The article describes the field season and the next steps for the recovered artifacts now housed in the New World Lab of the Nautical Archaeology Program.  The Shelburne Shipyard Steamboat Graveyard Research Project was the 2016 recipient of the Claude Duthuit Archaeology grant, which provides the project with $25,000 in support.  Learn more about the Shelburne Shipyard Steamboat Graveyard Research Project here, or read the full article on!
The project entails the study of four steamboat hulls that currently lie in Shelburne Shipyard, Lake Champlain, Vermont.