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!
“Sunken relics, ghostly shipwrecks, and lost cities aren’t just wonders found in fictional adventures. Beneath the ocean’s surface, there are ruins where people once roamed and shipwrecks loaded with artifacts from another time.” My latest TED Ed lesson...
The OSCE asked Peter to write an article for border security officials relating to the looting and trafficking of underwater cultural heritage. The article titled “Preserving History from Under the Sea” came out in 2016 Issue 2 of Security Community and it...
Peter was invited to represent the Albanian Center for Marine Research at the International Meeting on Underwater Cultural Heritage and Site Protection at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The meeting focused on the looting and commercial exploitation of underwater...
UCL’s Bloomsbury Egyptology summer school hosted a study day for the British Museum’s Sunken Cities exhibit, inviting Peter to give a talk on maritime trade and navigation connecting the Aegean to Egypt in various...
The Albanian Marine Science Expedition had a successful two week field season in July 2016. The expedition gathered data on the ecology and archaeology of southern Albanian waters, assessing biodiversity and underwater cultural heritage. The most significant findings...
How do cities end up in the sea? In a collaboration with TED, I wrote a lesson for students ages 12-16 to explain the processes that cause cities to become submerged. View the video below or the lesson with course material at the link...