Shipwrecks, Pirates, Governments, and Archaeologists: Can We All Just Get Along?


During the past several decades salvage operators, government sanctioned and non-sanctioned, have destroyed countless archaeological sites through the pillaging of shipwrecks in search of sunken treasure throughout The Bahamas. Recently the government of The Bahamas passed the Underwater Heritage Shipwreck Act which allows for a limited number of licensed excavations to be conducted by salvage companies under the supervision of appointed archaeologists and government officials. Has the government of The Bahamas developed a program that can reconcile the economic incentives that salvage operations can bring with the needs of cultural resource management or will this simply become another instance of destruction for profit? This paper addresses one such license and the ethics, economics, and reality that this endeavor may have upon shipwrecks, archaeologists and commerially driven archaeological excavations.

Cite this Record

Shipwrecks, Pirates, Governments, and Archaeologists: Can We All Just Get Along?. Kelley Scudder-Temple, Cynthia Wirth, Michael Pateman. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428746)


Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 501