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Archaeology Underwater: How Submerged Landscapes are Changing the Future of Archaeology

Presented by Dr. Ashley Lemke

  • Assistant Professor at the University of Texas in Arlington
  • Chair of the Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology

More about the lecture

The phrase “underwater archaeology” conjures notions of shipwrecks, ships lost at sea, and the dramatic catastrophes that sank them; however, the discipline can also reveal details about ancient landscapes that contain the record of past human occupations. Many of these sites are on the earth’s continental shelves where vast stretches of shallow, coastal lands were exposed at the end of the last Ice Age. These once dry landscapes supported life for plants, animals, and humans for thousands of years.
In this lecture, Dr. Lemke will outline how research on submerged landscapes is becoming an increasingly important part of archaeology, focusing on a specific study in the Great Lakes, where 100 feet of water has preserved a virtually intact 9,000-year-old landscape with rooted trees, peat bogs, hunting sites, and artifacts.

About the presenter

Ashley Lemke is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas in Arlington and Chair of the Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology. She is a leading researcher on the archaeology of hunter-gatherers. She has worked extensively on both terrestrial and underwater archaeological projects from the Lower Paleolithic in Europe to 19th-century Nunamiut archaeological sites in the arctic. She is an expert on submerged ancient sites in the Americas and has researched such sites in the Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes, and Atlantic Ocean.
Dr. Lemke received her BA from the University of Texas in Anthropology and Classical Civilizations, and her MA and PhD in Anthropology for the University of Michigan.
She is the editor of Foraging in the Past: Archaeological Studies of Hunter-Gatherer Diversity, coeditor of Caribou Hunting in the Upper Great Lakes: Archaeological, Ethnographic, and Paleoenvironmental Perspectives, and author of Introduction to Archaeology: A Workbook and The Architecture of Hunting: The Built Environment of Hunter-Gatherers and its Impact on Mobility, Property, Leadership, and Labor coming soon from Texas A&M University Press.

Free For Everyone

Our virtual lectures are a part of our Outreach and Education efforts. They are free to our Members and the General Public.  Recorded lectures are posted on YouTube and on the event page after the event occurs.

For questions about the event or how to register, please contact Susan Bowdoin ( or Sarah Webber (