Dr. Peter B. CampbellUnderwater Archaeologist
Ships are the most frequent find underwater. This shipwreck sank in Albania during the 4th century AD while sailing from North Africa up the Adriatic Sea. Elaine Ferritto snapped this photo of me as I swam it during our 2012 field school in Albania.
Sunken cities are far more common that people realize. They are rarely deep, only 1-4 meters, but submerged cities contain a wealth of information about the past. I captured this moment during our 2014 Illyrian Coastal Exploration Program field school in Croatia.
Underwater caves may be the greatest untapped resource for archaeology. They contain incredible information on ritual and religion, as well as insights into our changing world and species. I took this photograph as our dive team exited a cave in the Balearic Islands, Spain, that was located on dry land until circa 10,000 years ago.
Learning how people use the sea today is one of the most fascinating aspects of maritime archaeology. From sailing tall ships to working with fishermen, the joy of the sea is something that never tires. My research working with fishermen and sponge divers around the Mediterranean has led to many exciting discoveries and insights into ancient trade.
High Impact Underwater Research
Peter is the archaeological director for the Albanian Center for Marine Research, underwater archaeologist for the Cave Archaeology Investigation & Research Network, and a research associate with RPM Nautical Foundation. He has served on ethical boards such as the Society for American Archaeology’s Committee on Ethics and Institute for Archaeologists’ Maritime Affairs Group. He is on the Register of Professional Archaeologists and member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.
Public Engagement with Science
It is critical to engage with the public and advocate for the field through popular media. Peter publishes with media outlets such as Bloomberg, Discovery News, and The New York Times, as well as advising journalists from BBC, CNN, and many others. He has been an invited speaker at INTERPOL, OSCE, and British Museum relating to his research on antiquities trafficking and underwater cultural heritage. He helped design, and is an educator on, the Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds free online course.
The Future of Underwater Exploration
The health of the field is paramount to the protection of cultural heritage. Peter teaches underwater sciences field schools and mentors students from a number of universities. His work include forthcoming findings on gender, minority, and job issues in archaeology.
Reports & Publications
This moment in time has enormous potential for new discoveries about our past. Science and politics have shown that underwater exploration will play an important role in the future through uncovering sites important for cultural identity, generating economies based on sustainable tourism, addressing issues like climate change, and managing marine resources for the future.
Read my article on the Great Age of Discovery by clicking below!
Peter is joining the British School at Rome for a year long research fellowship examining the Imperial port of Rome, Portus. The research will include modeling the navigational environment of the ancient port.
National Geographic visited RPM Nautical Foundation's research to film for an upcoming documentary program. The series is expected in air in a year's time and feature one of RPMNF's ongoing projects.
The collaboration between the Soprintendenza del Mare and RPM Nautical Foundation continued at the Battle of the Egadi Islands site. The project has spanned a decade and led to the discovery of numerous artifacts from the battle in 241 BC.
Peter taught the course "Underwater Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean: shipwrecks, sunken cities, drowned landscapes and the ancient world" for the Bloomsbury Summer School at University College London. Students learned about the wide range of...
The Honor Frost Foundation awarded a grant for the study of paleomagnetism in ancient amphoras. The study examines amphoras from submerged environments and hopes to elucidate the date of firing through analysis at the National Oceanographic Centre...
The fieldwork at Fourni, Greece, continued for a third season. A number of new shipwrecks were discovered, while the focus was on documenting the sites that had been found during the previous seasons.