investigating maritime and underwater archaeological sites throughout virginia
Archaeological training for divers and non-divers
2023 CHAPTER OFFICERS
The Archeological Society of Virginia (ASV), an all-volunteer organization, established the MARITIME HERITAGE CHAPTER in October 2016. While ASV’s other chapters are regionally based, the Maritime Heritage Chapter investigates maritime and underwater archaeological sites throughout Virginia.
Our goals include:
- Archaeological training for avocational archaeologists – diving and non-diving
- Public educatiobn and outreach
- The conduct of research, surveys, and field word directed towards Virginia’s myriad submerged archaeological resources
The Maritime Heritage Chapter will assist and work with the ASV and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, along with other organizations with related goals.
Virginia Maritime Archaeology
We believe that a comprehensive history of Virginia must include frequent references to the vast and intricate maritime system that has existed in The Chesapeake Bay and Virginia since prehistoric times. From Native American watercraft to the earliest voyages of European exploration, to humble beginnings at Jamestown, to commercial expansion in the 18th century and beyond, ships and seafaring played a major role in Virginia’s development. Yet Virginians have been slow to embrace this connection with the sea. Very few underwater archaeology projects have taken place in the waters of the Commonwealth.
This is despite the fact that Virginia’s waters are vast and are known to contain literally thousands of shipwrecks. Virginia-owned lands include roughly 2300 square miles of submerged bottomlands—an area larger than the entire state of Delaware!—and more than 5000 miles of shoreline. A study during the 1980s identified approximately 2000 shipwrecks in Virginia waters, just up to the year 1925.
The primary goal of the ASV Maritime Heritage Chapter is to locate, study, and protect submerged archaeological sites in Virginia waters through cooperation between professional and avocational archaeologists and other interested citizens. This effort will be headed up by our Research and Planning Committee. Both divers and non-divers can make important contributions to this goal.
This website will serve as a source of information on the chapter’s plans and activities and how to get involved, as well as provide information for further study.
THE ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF VIRGINIA, FOUNDED IN 1940, IS ONE OF THE OLDEST STATE SOCIETIES IN THE U.S. THE ASV IS AN ALL-VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION THAT SEEKS TO PROMOTE THE KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE OF ARCHAEOLOGY THROUGH EDUCATION, TRAINING, SITE INVESTIGATIONS, PUBLICATIONS AND PUBLIC OUTREACH. ASV HAS PUBLISHED A QUARTERLY JOURNAL SINCE ITS INCEPTION, FEATURING UNIQUE AND IMPORTANT DATA ON NATIVE AMERICAN PROJECTILE POINTS, ARTIFACT IDENTIFICATION AND DATING, AND REPORTS ON SITE INVESTIGATIONS. THE ASV IS A NONPROFIT, 501(C)(3) TAX QUALIFIED ORGANIZATIONS. DONATIONS TO THE ASV ARE FULLY TAX DEDUCTIBLE TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY THE TAX CODE.