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Imagine being the first person to lay eyes on a ship that has remained hidden underwater for 180 years. Or excavating the wreck of the very ship that was sent to recapture HMS Bounty and its mutinous crew. The ANMM's highly skilled maritime archaeology team counts these achievements among its important work.
What is maritime archaeology?
Maritime archaeology is the scientific study of underwater cultural heritage and related land-based sites. The ANMM's maritime archaeology program advises and actively helps commonwealth and state agencies and overseas government authorities responsible for underwater cultural heritage. Our program has been involved in a number of important projects in Australia and overseas.
Underwater cultural heritage refers to all traces of human existence with cultural, historical or archaeological character that have been partially or totally submerged.
What does the maritime archaeology program do?
The museum's maritime archaeology program provides advice and resources. For example, we:
- send trained staff to underwater cultural heritage sites to help survey, excavate, interpret and preserve them
- advise on collection management, conservation and acquisition of underwater cultural heritage material
- advise on international recommendations and policies including those of the International Congress of Maritime Museums (ICMM), the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage.
- advise on relevant legislation
The ANMM is represented on the National Executive of the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology and the New South Wales Department of Planning's Maritime Archaeology Advisory Panel.
Download the Maritime Archaeology Program Policy (PDF, 196kb)
For queries about maritime archaeology, underwater cultural heritage and shipwreck relics, contact the museum's maritime archaeologist, Kieran Hosty:
Phone: +61 2 9298 3710 or +61 2 9298 3710