Featuring presentations from a range of professional and amateur archaeologists, the NAS Annual Conference provides an opportunity to discuss research, review the archaeological activities of members, exchange ideas on encouraging access to our shared heritage, and network with friends and colleagues from the UK and abroad.
The NAS Conference
An important international event in the world of nautical archaeology, the NAS always secures a range of internationally renowned speakers who focus their talks on maritime and nautical archaeology around the world.
Not to be missed...
There is also a large exhibitors’ area full of a number of organisations that come along as exhibitors during the conference. For the last few years, the NAS has held a poster session which has exhibited a range of projects and research from shipbuilding to indertidal archaeology, from as far as Yemen and as close as the River Thames. The conference also normally sees the presentation of the annual Adopt-A-Wreck Award. There is also an annual raffle with the prizes drawn at the end of the event. Finally we like to arrange a special excursion held as part of the conference.
2020 NAS Conference is planned to be held in Dublin, Ireland - date to be confirmed
2019 NAS Conference will be held in Portsmouth, in partnership with the Ordnance Society - date to be confirmed
2018 NAS Conference will be held in Newport, Wales in partnership with the Friends of the Newport Ship on the 17th-18th November 2018 - more information coming soon
2017 NAS Conference: Just the Beginning
The Society’s 2017 annual conference and AGM was back home in Portsmouth, U.K. in November 2017. As usual, it brought together members, speakers and exhibitors in a two-day jamboree of all things maritime archaeological. The event goes from strength to strength, and this time brought speakers talking about their activities in locations as diverse as the U.K., Costa Rica, Cyprus, Florida, Lebanon, Spain and Texas—most with a strong link to the Society and its training programme. John P. Cooper reports.
NAS members are a busy lot, and a two-day whirl of presentations, socialisation and museum visits in Portsmouth under the banner “Discovery is Just the Beginning” proved it. From virtual reality to historic diving, shopping to sign-ups for forthcoming events, the action had already started in the lobby before the conference room was even reached. Inside, Master of Ceremonies and NAS Vice President David Blackman ran a tight ship, enabling a packed programme to be got through.
That programme demonstrated, that NAS training continues to reach new and exciting places. NAS Vice President and Head of Interpretation at the Mary Rose Trust, Chris Dobbs, explored the origins of the programme in the Mary Rose excavations, demonstrating how willing but untrained volunteer divers were turned into valuable team members. That torch has been picked up around the world: José Matés Luque reported on his leadership of Spain’s first NAS training programme, in Bilbao. Andonis Neophytou spoke on behalf of himself and Stella Demesticha about the ongoing success of the NAS training field school in Cyprus. And Lynn Harris of East Carolina University showed how fruitful local partnerships can be in bringing education and genuine research together (more in this issue). Finally, Della Scott Ireton demonstrated how engagement with the diving community can yield important benefits in the preservation of the underwater heritage in Florida through the NAS-linked SSEAS programme (more in this issue).
Wrecks were plentiful, with Jorge Russo of the Portuguese Navy Research centre reporting on the Patrão Lopes off Lisbon; Simon Brown of Deep 3D reporting on his photogrammetry of the SS Thistlegorm in the Red Sea along with Egyptian colleagues; Peter Holt describing the detective work around the identification of the submarine Resurgam; Iain Grant and David Johnston looking back over 30 years of custodianship of the warship Hazardous; Dan Pascoe reporting on the excavation of the Invincible; and Phil Short and Gemma Smith reflecting on the wonders of the Antikythera wreck and its amazing Mechanism. Finally Amanda Evans of Coastal Environments, Inc. reported on the legacy of NAS programmes in ongoing heritage conservation in the US Gulf of Mexico.
Meanwhile, opportunities for NAS members to be involved in historic wreck investigation were outlined by Martijn Manders of the Dutch Cultural Heritage Organisation, who led last summer’s #Rooswijk1740 project in Kent, U.K., while Mark Beattie Edwards showed how NAS members can join Society visits to dive trails of the Holland 5 and Norman’s Bay Wreck, off Sussex, U.K. Sheilah Openshaw reported on the joys of detective work in the UK’s National Archives in Kew, London, and Nick Reed showed how social media could be harnessed to record the maritime material cultural heritage.
Prize-giving is an integral part of the conference. The Keith Muckelroy Award for best nautical archaeological book was this year collected by Amy Borgens on behalf of the authors of La Belle: The Archaeology of a Seventeenth-Century Ship of New World Colonization—see her article in this issue. And the IJNA Open Access Prize went to Ufuk Kocabas for his article in the journal on the Yenikapı Byzantine-Era Shipwrecks in Istanbul, Turkey. Meanwhile certificates were handed out to NAS members Steve Cook, Roger Forster and Graeme Perks to mark their progress through the NAS Education programme.
And for those not walking away with an award or a certificate, there was as ever the consolation of a chance in the conference raffle which, despite some entertaining ticket-colour confusion, created several happy faces at the end of the event.
As usual, attendance at the conference comes with some exciting opportunities. This year, the participants had the chance to go on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Mary Rose Museum, guided by none other than our own Chris Dobbs. In 2018 the conference will be held in Newport, Wales, U.K. in November, in partnership with the Friends of the Newport Ship. We wonder what they might have in store for us.
2016 Conference was held in Glasgow in partnership with The SCAPE Trust
2015 Conference was held in Portsmouth in partnership with The Society for Post Medieval Archaeology
2014 Conference was held in London in partnership with the Thames Discovery Programme, MOLA
2013 Conference was held in Portsmouth