Nautical and Underwater Archaeology


a) Identify the types of underwater archaeological sites in relation with the site formation processes; b) Understand the main theoretical currents that frame the research in underwater archaeology; c) Learn the survey, excavations and recording techniques in underwater archaeology research; d) Identify the material culture related with maritime activities.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

José António Bettencourt


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



Available soon


- BOWENS, A., ed., Underwater Archaeology: The NAS Guide to Principles and Practice Second Edition, Nautical Archaeological Society, 2009. - DELGADO, J. P., Encyclopaedia of Underwater and Maritime Archaeology, London, British Museum Press, 1997. - MUCKELROY, K., Maritime Archaeology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1978. - STEFFY, J. R., Wooden Ship Building and the Interpretation of Shipwrecks. Texas A & M University Press, College Station, 1994. - WESTERDAHL, C., “The maritime cultural landscape”, The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 21 (1), 1992, p. 5–14.

Teaching method

Theoretical classes with audiovisual support. Practical classes supported by texts comments related to the different subjects of the syllabus. Practical classes by processing and analysing archaeological field data and recording archaeological materials. Visits to institutions related with underwater archaeology.

Evaluation method

one individual or group final paper (two students maximum) (50%), one written test (50%)

Subject matter

1. Types of underwater archaeological sites and site formation processes 2. Theoretical currents applied to underwater archaeology research 3. Survey methods 4. Excavation methods 5. Recording methods 6. Maritime Cultural Landscape Archaeology 7. Shipwreck Archaeology 8. Ship elements – hull, fittings and rigging- and other equipments 9. Material culture of maritime communities 10. Maritime cargoes and trading routes


Programs where the course is taught: