Chris Underwood

Nautical Archaeology Society (United Kingdom)

Chris Underwood

Themes of special interest - Public Archaeology

Professional biography

Chris’ first experience of maritime archaeology was in 1978, when he joined the Mary Rose Project, as Diving Officer. Ultimately, he was jointly responsible for the implementation of the underwater work programme leading to the recovery of the hull of the Mary Rose in 1982. This and the artefact collection are now on permanent display in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, United Kingdom. In the following decade he participated in or managed numerous archaeological projects in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Ireland, Malta, Mauritius, and Comoros Islands.

In 1991, he joined the Nautical Archaeology Society. As Project Director he was responsible for the Society’s international training programme and public participatory projects that took him to more than twenty countries. After almost fifteen years in this role, in 2005 he became a member of Argentina’s National Institute of Anthropology’s underwater archaeology research program. He participated in the excavation and research of HMS Swift (1770) and is a co-author of El naufragio de la HMS Swift 1770: Arqueologia Maritima en la Patagoni. He continues to work on heritage management and research projects in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.

Since 2008, he has been a trainer on UNESCO’s capacity building programs in Argentina, Colombia, Kenya, Mexico, St Eustatius, and Thailand, as well as contributing to and co-editing the Training Manual for the UNESCO Foundation Course on the Protection and Management of Underwater Cultural Heritage in Asia and the Pacific. This manual has been adapted for Latin America and Caribbean, and also translated into Spanish. He is also currently advising Taiwan authorities on the development of a training program aimed at increasing and sustaining professional capacity related to underwater cultural heritage.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Portsmouth University, Masters in Maritime Archaeology from Southampton University, PhD from the University of Southern Denmark, and holds numerous professional and sport diving qualifications. He is currently President of the International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage (ICUCH) and is a member of the editorial board of the peer reviewed Journal of Maritime Archaoelogy.

Chris Underwood
February 2018