Archaeology - Underwater Archaeology

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What you need to know:

  • How do I get access to a shipwreck site?
    Most dive operators in the state have a listing of dive sites in their area. Consult your local shop and enjoy the sites underwater.
  • Why should I report a site to you?
    To help protect these resources for future generations they must be recorded and studied. We cannot manage the resource properly if we don't know basic information.
  • What do I do if I find a shipwreck?
    Contact Bryan Tucker, State Archaeologist, at or 770-389-7863
  • What are the laws in Georgia relating to underwater archaeology?
    Submerged Cultural Resources (1985); 12-3-80: Defines submerged cultural resources; establishes state ownership and agency responsibilities; provides for permits for survey and research.
  • Is it legal to collect artifacts in the rivers and streams of Georgia? How about offshore?
    Without the proper permits and permissions it is illegal to: collect artifacts on public land, dig or disturb an archaeological site on public land or in Georgia's navigable waterways, disturb human burials on public or private land, display any human remains in public, sell artifacts that are associated with a human burial, remove artifacts from a site on private property without the landowners permission.
  • What harm is there in collecting artifacts?
    Taking souvenirs harms both the historical and recreational value of shipwrecks and underwater sites. Artifacts taken out of context have no value to archaeologists or collectors. The object is worthless without its story.
  • If I don't take it, someone else will...
    Most people don't pick rare flowers or sea oats in national parks. The underwater realm of Georgia belongs to all Georgians treat it like an underwater museum.

External Resources


Who to contact:

Rachel Black, Deputy State Archaeologist, Phone: 770-389-7862