March 15, 1970 – September 13, 2023

Underwater archaeologist, explorer, and conservator Peter Hitchcock passed away on September 13, 2023, at the age of 53. Peter graduated from Texas A&M University (TAMU) in 1993 with a B.A. in Anthropology and continued his studies at the university, earning an M.A. from the Nautical Archaeology Program (NAP) in 2002. As a student in 1993, Peter worked with TAMU on sites in Mount Independent and Lake Champlain. In 1997 Peter participated in the Texas Historical Commission’s La Salle Shipwreck Project on excavation of the 17th-century French colonial bark La Belle, part of Robert Cavalier Sieur de La Salle’s expedition to the Gulf of Mexico. As part of the conservation effort, he worked at TAMU’s Conservation Research Laboratory from 1997 to 2002 as a member of the team tasked with the conservation and reassembly of the hull. Peter assisted in the design and creation of the carbon-fiberglass composite fiber support framework used in its exhibit at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

From 2002 to 2005, Peter worked on the excavation of the Red River Wreck, identified as the 1838 shipwreck of the steamboat Heroine. Peter was the assistant director on this project, conducted by TAMU in partnership with the Oklahoma Historical Society. Peter was involved in two early deep-water archaeological investigations led by TAMU—the Mica and Mardi Gras Shipwreck Projects—both significant as early deep-water testing and data recovery projects in the Gulf of Mexico; he was the project manager on the Mardi Gras Project. Peter’s experience in deep-water exploration led to his career at TBI-Brooks International Inc., an offshore geophysical exploration company specializing in multi-disciplinary oceanographic projects including mineral exploration and offshore windfarms. Peter worked at TBI Brooks in College Station, Texas from 2010 until his retirement as a Senior Project Manager in 2022. His wife Molly and their two children survive him.

Peter Hitchock on the Mardi Gras project in 2007.

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