Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology

The ACUA has been at the forefront of underwater archaeology for more than 60 years. Its genesis as the Council on Underwater Archaeology was in 1959 and its purpose was fully realized at a meeting in 1963 when a group of archaeologists, historians, and sport divers met in St. Paul, Minnesota for the first international Conference on Underwater Archaeology (CUA).

The first joint conference with the then fledgling Society for Historical Archaeology was held in 1970. By 1973, the present structure and name of the ACUA were established and shortly thereafter a merging of conferences occurred. In 2003, a Memorandum of Agreement between the ACUA and the SHA was signed, formalizing the relationship between the two organizations.

The ACUA serves as an international advisory body on issues relating to underwater archaeology, conservation, and submerged cultural resources management.  It is working to educate scholars, governments, sport divers, and the general public about underwater archaeology and the preservation of underwater resources. The ACUA assists the SHA Conference Committee in organizing the annual SHA Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology. It provides continuing education through workshops and panel discussions at the annual conference.

The ACUA publishes the ACUA Underwater Archaeology Proceedings comprised of papers given at the annual SHA Conference. It also organizes the Archaeological Photo Festival Competition open to all SHA members to promote public outreach and education between underwater and terrestrial archaeology.

History of the ACUA

If you are interested in learning more about the history and formation of the ACUA you can download a short article History of the ACUA in PDF format.