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John Bratten


Dr. John Bratten, professor of anthropology, teaches archaeology, maritime studies, shipwreck archaeology and artifact conservation.  

Bratten was always fascinated by stories of arctic explorers and shipwrecks. But reading the book, “The Sea Remembers: Shipwrecks and Archaeology,” inspired him to switch careers midstream – from teaching science to studying maritime archaeology.

As co-principal investigator of the Emanuel Point II shipwreck, Bratten combines his passion for science and archeology by overseeing the excavation and artifact conservation of the second vessel from Tristán de Luna’s 1559 colonization fleet. He utilizes a state-of-the-art freeze-dryer provided by the Archaeology Institute to stabilize and maintain diagnostic information from artifacts that have been submerged in water for more than 400 years. 

Bratten wrote, “The Gondola Philadelphia and the Battle of Lake Champlain,” a comprehensive analysis of the oldest intact warship and the associated artifacts that were recovered from the bottom of Lake Champlain. In addition to his manuscript publication, he has written numerous journal articles, lay publications and technical reports. He was also board member of the CSS Alabama Project and the Pensacola Archaeological Society. Before joining UWF in 1996, he was a conservator for Florida’s Bureau of Archaeological Research.

Degrees & Institutions

Bratten received a bachelor’s degree in biology and master’s in science education, both from Northwest Missouri State University, and a doctorate in anthropology, with an emphasis on nautical archaeology, from Texas A&M University. 



Bratten, John R. 2012. "The University of West Florida's Maritime Field School Experience," in Global Perspectives on Archaeological Field Schools: Constructions of Knowledge and Experience, Harold Mytum, Editor, Springer Publishing Company, 147-64.

Bratten, John and Greg Cook. 2010. "2010 University of West Florida Maritime Archaeology Field School: Pensacola, Florida," The Florida Anthropologist, Vol. 63(3-4), 196-197.

Bratten, John R. 2009. "The Mesoamerican Component of the Emanuel Point Ships: Obsidian, Ceramics, and Projectile Points," in The Florida Anthropologist, Vol. 62, Nos. 3-4, 109-114.

Bratten, John R. and John E. Worth. 2009. "Shipwrecked History: A Sunken Spanish Fleet Reveals New Knowledge of Early Florida Colonists," American Heritage, Vol. 59, No. 2, pp. 44-49.

Bratten, John R. 2009. "Diving Into 450 Years of Pensacola's Maritime History,"Pensacola Magazine, pp. 59-65. (Commemorative Issue, August 2009).

Bratten, John R., Gregory D. Cook, and John E. Worth. 2008. "The Emanuel Point Ship II: Investigation of a newly discovered 16th-century Spanish vessel in Pensacola, Florida," in Underwater Archaeology Proceedings from the Society for Historical Archaeology Conference. Victor Mastone and Susan Langley Editors, The Society for Historical Archaeology.

Keywords: archaeology; maritime studies; shipwreck archaeology; artifact conservation.