Maritime Archaeology at the University of West Florida is dedicated to the preservation of submerged cultural resources in northwest Florida and the southeastern United States.
The program kicked off its initial field season in 1997 with the excavation of the Emanuel Point Ship in partnership with the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research. Currently, maritime archaeologists Dr. John Bratten and Dr. Greg Cook direct field investigations and conduct research with the assistance of the students of UWF. Projects have provided students from all over the United States and Canada with opportunities in maritime archaeology through field schools, directed studies, and archaeology courses. Senior level graduate student field school directors often receive funding assistance. Five flags have flown over Pensacola, creating an intricate historical record. The bay is rich with resources recounting this diverse cultural heritage.
Elmina African Shipwreck Research
Graduate Student Research
During the fall of 2004 and the summer of 2005, UWF maritime archaeologists, Dr. John Bratten and Dr. Greg Cook, along with graduate students, undergraduate students and dedicated volunteers conducted a remote sensing survey from the mouth of Bayou Chico to the mouth of Bayou Texar using magnetometry and side-scan sonar. The survey was conducted to record maritime cultural resources and mitigate any potential impact upon them by the increased development near the Pensacola waterfront.
The Maritime Archaeology Program at the University of West Florida, together with the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research (BAR), established a multi-year research partnership to investigate Pensacola's Luna shipwreck.
The Emanuel Point Shipwreck was discovered by archaeologists from the Florida Division of Historical Resources (DHR) in 1992, and subsequently studied by Florida DHR and UWF during two campaigns of fieldwork. Located in Pensacola Bay near Emanuel Point, this shipwreck was firmly associated with Don Tristan de Luna y Arellano's attempt to colonize Pensacola in 1559.
The wreck of a colonial frigate made in Veracruz lies in about 10-15 feet of water in Pensacola Bay. It is likely the Nuestra Señora del Rosario y Santiago Apostol (known as the Rosario) which sank in a hurricane in 1705 while servicing the frontier garrison in Pensacola, Presidio Santa María de Galve. This is an exceptional shipwreck made of red mahogany and much of the hull is intact.
The 1989 excavations of Deadman's Shipwreck took place just off of Deadman's Island (Old Navy Cove) which is owned by the city of Gulf Breeze, Florida.
Sometimes maritime resources are not underwater.