CFP: 2012 AIA Underwater Archaeology Colloquium

We would like to officially send out a call for papers for a colloquium session at next year’s 113th Archaeological Institute of America Annual Meeting January 5-8, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA, USA. The scope of submerged cultural heritage research has vastly expanded in the years since the first scientific excavations took place in the 1960s, and to celebrate the new directions of this field we are proposing a session based entirely on the work of graduate students and recent graduates. We hope that this will highlight the new possibilities in maritime archaeology, in addition to bringing together some of the foremost emerging scholars in the field. 
The working session abstract is below and we invite papers addressing a wide range of submerged heritage topics. The AIA does have limited funding available to bring scholars from overseas, so we hope to see submissions from across the world. As the deadline for submission to the AIA is drawing closer, we ask that you submit a 250 word abstract no later than March 6th so that we will have adequate time to review all the submissions before making our selections. We will notify you the results on or around the March 13th deadline.
Thank You,
Marilyn Cassedy ( and Haley Streuding (
Session Co-Organizers
Abstract: New discoveries and advances in archaeology have been made through taking to the seas and excavating submerged cultural heritage in all corners of the world. When George Bass, then a PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania, departed for Turkey in 1960, he could not have known the impact that the vessel at Cape Gelidonya, a small, Bronze Age shipwreck, would have on the archaeological community. In the last fifty years, and in particular at the 112th meeting of the AIA in San Antonio, this and other great achievements have been recognized as contributions that repeatedly illuminate trade networks, shipbuilding techniques, and a better understanding of the economy of the ancient world that cannot be found at terrestrial sites. But these are just a few examples.  As the field has developed, we have found that not only shipwrecks, but port structures, submerged cities, towns, settlements and even landscapes have the potential to open new lines of inquiry. Archaeology underwater has come to represent not only shipwrecks, but also the many and varied resources lakes, rivers and seas have to contribute to the field by enhancing our understanding of the past.
Standing as we are now on the shoulders of giants, it is imperative that we look to the future of maritime archaeology. This session will present the papers of students and recent graduates involved in innovative techniques and approaches aimed at analyzing and integrating submerged material culture into the published archaeological record. These emerging scholars will not only help us to reflect on the achievements of the past, but more importantly look to the distant horizon. These previous fifty years have brought us to a crossroads where information and technology are more available than ever before. The increased sophistication of available technology has led to an explosion of new data in the field. The brightest minds of the next generation of scholars are leading the way down new paths and uncovering previously impossible results. Maritime archaeology has evolved from imprudent inquiries into the mythical past into a truly interdisciplinary social science bringing together researchers from all over the world in the quest to fully understand a single shipwreck. A session devoted to these emerging leaders in the field will not only pay homage to the long journey that has brought us to this point, but also lead the way forward to the next set of questions and obstacles to be faced on the sea bed.