The Evolution and Role of Avocationals in Underwater Archaeology

Author(s): Thomas F. Beasley

Year: 2015


Underwater Archaeology started soon after scuba diving began in the early 1950s. For about the next 20 years, divers began to discover, document and analyze shipwrecks. In the early 1970s, those divers began to form groups to work on larger projects and to learn about archaeology. At about the same time, archaeolgy at universities began to offer courses and the discipline of underwater archaeolgy took root. Some of the avocational groups such as the Nautical Archaelogy Society and the Underwater Archaeological Society of British Columbia have flourished. In other jurisdictions, the prevailing archaeological and diving communities remained 2 solitudes and avocational organizations did not develop or prosper. The paper will review the history of avocationals in underwater archaeology; the role, mission, membership base, size, and projects of the major avocational organizations around the world; and analyze the conditions, culture, and legislation under which an avocational organization will evolve and prosper.

Cite this Record

The Evolution and Role of Avocationals in Underwater Archaeology. Thomas F. Beasley. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 434034)


Archaeologists Avocational Underwater

Geographic Keywords
Canada North America

Temporal Keywords
1950 to present

Spatial Coverage

min long: -141.003; min lat: 41.684 ; max long: -52.617; max lat: 83.113 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 404