Beneath the Waves: What Shipwrecks, Sunken Cities, and Forgotten Harbors Reveal About Ancient Civilizations
The phrase "Egyptian Archaeology" immediately conjures up an image of a hot, dry, dusty landscape possibly with a few pyramids in the distance. While not inaccurate, it is only part of the picture. Most civilizations, ancient and modern, thrive on long-distance trade. And for countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea that means port cities, ships, and shipping have always played an integral part in their prosperity. But it has only been within the last 50 years that archaeologists have turned their attention to the physical remains beneath the waves. In this lecture, I will present an overview of the relatively new field of maritime archaeology, recent finds, and its potential for the future.
Jeanne Nijhowne holds a PhD in Middle Eastern archaeology and currently works at CU Boulder.
I decided to become a Near Eastern archaeologist at age 11 after reading a book on the six great, ancient civilizations. That determination never wavered. My first overseas dig was at the site of Nagada, a third millennium B.C. site about a half hour north of Luxor, Egypt in 1981. I returned to Egypt in 1992 to work at Abu Sha’ar, a Roman fort on the beach of the Red Sea. Both before and after my Egyptian trips, I participated in archaeological excavations in Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, and Syria. I was part of the permanent staff at Tell Mozan in northeastern Syria until the war started in 2011. Along the way, I earned a PhD in Anthropology with a specialty in Near Eastern archaeology. I wrote my dissertation on Old Babylonian and Kassite cylinder seals. I also discovered a passion for teaching. I’ve taught anthropology and archaeology courses at Binghamton University, Hartwick College, and SUNY-Oneonta all in upstate New York and at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. I currently teach “The Archaeology of Mesopotamia in the Second Millennium BC” and “Religion and Politics of Ancient Egypt” at CU Boulder and take the opportunity to lecture about Near Eastern archaeology whenever the opportunity arises.