The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology is a forum for the exchange of ideas and research relevant to all aspects of nautical and maritime archaeology. Published twice a year, the IJNA is a full colour publication both online and in print, with each issue containing peer-reviewed original articles, notes and book reviews. IJNA addresses the theory and practice of archaeology and related academic disciplines, such as cultural geography, history, ethnography, oceanography and anthropology, which investigate human associations with water and waterborne craft of all periods throughout the world, on seas and inland waters. Aiming to encourage a fuller understanding of the maritime past within its wider context, IJNA keeps readers abreast of the latest discoveries, new interpretations and theoretical approaches.

Aims and Scope

The journal covers all aspects of the study of nautical archaeology, exploring the use and development of water transport, maritime trade, coastal resource use, and the infrastructures that supported these activities from prehistory to the recent past. The material covered includes both terrestrial and underwater sites related to seas and inland waterways and ranges from shipwreck studies to maritime landscapes. The journal aims to encourage a broad appreciation and understanding of the social impact of our maritime past in its wider cultural context.

IJNA keeps readers abreast of the latest discoveries, excavations, techniques, and theoretical approaches. Coverage includes:

  • Archaeological evidence for ships and boats, navigation and trade
  • Survey and excavation of sites in rivers, lakes and the sea
  • Harbours and other coastal sites
  • Artefact studies
  • Legislation and cultural heritage management
  • Theoretical approaches

Browse a free sample issue here

The IJNA is published online as soon as they are available, ahead of the print issues, and NAS members who subscribe to IJNA have online access to this material, as well as to the current issue and all back issues. The hard-copy print run occurs twice a year - 1st March and 1st September. 

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The journal is supported by the Honor Frost Foundation

The Honor Frost Foundation supports the IJNA/HFF Open Access Award provides the winning  IJNA article with a year of free open access on the Wiley Online Book StoreThis means that those who do not have a subscription to the IJNA will be able to  access and download the winning article for free.

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Early View Content can be found online here 

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Open Access Content

Morgawr: an experimental Bronze Age‐type sewn‐plank craft based on the Ferriby boats

International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, Volume 43, Issue 2. First published: 17 April 2014

Abstract: This paper reports on the construction of a full‐scale Bronze Age‐type sewn‐plank boat based on the Ferriby boats. The boat, which was named Morgawr, was constructed in the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth, England, during 2012 and the first months of 2013, as part of a larger exhibition in the museum. This paper provides the background and context of the project, describes the process of building the craft, and reflects in particular on differences between Morgawr and the ‘hypothetical reconstruction of a complete sewn‐plank boat’ published in 1990 by Ted Wright and John Coates which formed the basis for this project.

A Portuguese East Indiaman from the 1502–1503 Fleet of Vasco da Gama off Al Hallaniyah Island, Oman: an interim report, by David L. Mearns, David Parham,  Bruno Frohlich.

International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, Volume 45, Issue 2.  First published: 14 March 2016

Abstract: Two Portuguese naus from Vasco da Gama's second voyage to India, left behind to disrupt maritime trade between India and the Red Sea, were wrecked in May 1503 off the north‐eastern coast of Al Hallaniyah Island, Oman. The ships, Esmeralda and São Pedro, had been commanded by da Gama's maternal uncles, Vicente and Brás Sodré, respectively. A detailed study and scientific analysis of an artefact assemblage recovered during archaeological excavations conducted in Al Hallaniyah in 2013 and 2014 confirms the location of an early 16th‐century Portuguese wreck‐site, initially discovered in 1998. Esmeralda is proposed as the probable source of the remaining, un‐salved wreckage.

From Boatyard to Museum: 3D laser scanning and digital modelling of the Qatar Museums watercraft collection, Doha, Qatar, by John P. Cooper, Andrew Wetherelt, Chiara Zazzaro, Matthew Eyre. 

First published online16 May 2018

Abstract: This article presents the results of a project to 3D laser scan and digitally model 14 watercraft from the Qatar Museums collection, comprising a range of regional vessels: most had not been surveyed previously. The project used the resulting point clouds generated 2D naval lines and orthographic records of the vessels in their current condition, and photorealistic 3D digital models for gallery display. This case study provides illustrative examples of the intermediate stages and final outputs. It assesses the pros and cons of 3D laser scanning as a survey technology for nautical scholars in terms of the time, cost, and skillset, as well as logistical considerations. It also compares the accuracy of traditional hand survey methods.

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Honor Frost Foundation Open Access Prize

The IJNA/HFF Open Access Award was established in 2016 to give an article the benefit of Open Access, without the cost. Open access is a feature by which internet users can read and download a journal article without being a subscriber or paying for it individually. This makes the research available to a larger audience, which is beneficial to both readers and researchers alike.

The award grants Open Access for the article on the Wiley Online Library - which hosts the IJNA - for one year.

Winner 2017

The 19th‐Century Akko Tower Wreck, Israel: a summary of the first two excavation seasons


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Winner 2016

The Yenikapı Byzantine‐Era Shipwrecks, Istanbul, Turkey: a preliminary report and inventory of the 27 wrecks studied by Istanbul University


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2018 International Women’s Day

In 2018 the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology is celebrating International Women’s Day by asking five Journal authors to tell us how Honor Frost’s legacy is influencing and enabling their research.

You can read the celebration here

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Back Issues

All online back issues of the IJNA are available through the NAS member’s area of the Membership Portal.

Some hard copy back issues are also available for purchase  - just contact the NAS office by phone +44(0)2392 818419 or by email on [email protected] with the volume you are trying to obtain.

Ethical Statement

IJNA welcomes submissions from all persons engaged in archaeology with a maritime/nautical relevance anywhere in the world. However, as publication in a refereed journal gives long-term academic respectability to any material published, the Editor asks for clear information to be provided about how surveys and excavations were financed, and the location, conservation and long-term curation of all finds, and of the paper and digital archive. 

The Editor expects authors to have worked within the principles laid down in the Annex to the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. These include Rule 1. ‘The protection of underwater cultural heritage through in situ preservation shall be considered as the first option’; Rule 2. ‘The commercial exploitation of underwater cultural heritage for trade or speculation or its irretrievable dispersal is fundamentally incompatible with the protection and proper management of underwater cultural heritage. Underwater cultural heritage shall not be traded, sold, bought or bartered as commercial goods.’ 

Authors must provide proof to the editor that they have permission to use any material for which they do not hold copyright (generally images). Research students must provide evidence of the approval of their supervisor(s). 

IJNA is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics, and the Editor aims to work according to its Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors (http://www.publicationethics.org/).

Advice for Authors on writing for the IJNA can be found here