Sport Divers and Maritime Archaeology: An Instructor’s Perspective

Author(s): William Chadwell

Year: 2014


The large pool of sport divers willing to participate in underwater archaeological projects presents a potentially rich pool of available labor. However, employing sport divers in underwater projects also presents potential safety and liability issues for the professional archaeologist. This presentation is intended to inform terrestrial archaeologists who may lead or participate in underwater archaeological projects in the future - or underwater archaeologists who have only a basic understanding of the recreational scuba training and education system - on the recommended knowledge, skills and abilities required of sport divers before participating in such projects. It will compare and contrast the basic Open Water certification criteria of three recreational scuba training agencies (Scuba Schools International, Scuba Diving International, and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors), briefly examine the content of various specialty courses offered by these agencies, and offer recommendations concerning the minimum experience level and skills needed for safely participating in underwater archaeological projects.

Cite this Record

Sport Divers and Maritime Archaeology: An Instructor’s Perspective. William Chadwell. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436764)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-20,04