The practice of underwater archaeology is truly interdisciplinary, combining the methods of various allied fields of study including anthropology, chemistry, ethnography, geology, history, naval architecture, oceanography, and paleography — to name only a few.
Although much underwater archaeology is conducted with standard scuba equipment, using simple measuring, mapping, and drawing techniques, archaeologists have borrowed special methods for working in the underwater environment from marine science as well as commercial and military diving.
Technologically sophisticated projects use both acoustic and magnetic remote-sensing equipment for detecting underwater archaeological sites, and acoustic, optical, infrared, and robotic methods for pinpointing, mapping, and documenting sites. Remotely operated and autonomous vehicles equipped with a range of cameras and equipment are often used in deep or difficult diving locations that divers cannot safely or easily work. Taken together these various tools help us to explore and study the underwater world.