The Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology

The Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology (OCMA) is a specialist research group within the School of Archaeology supported by the Hilti Foundation. It is devoted to the study of people who live or work on and around water.

The OCMA offers undergraduate and postgraduate options in maritime archaeology; post-graduate research ranges from the Mediterranean and its surrounding seas and oceans to the maritime cultures and peoples of the Indian Ocean and South China Sea from antiquity to the early modern period.

The Centre currently partners a number of fieldwork projects. In Egypt, the OCMA collaborates on projects implemented by the Institut Européen d’Archéologie Sous-Marine (IEASM), under the direction of Franck Goddio supported by the Hilti Foundation. It also works in Libya.

The OCMA also promotes research through a vigorous programme of international conferences that bring together specialists in maritime cultures, as well as outreach events aimed at a more general audience. The Centre’s peer-reviewed monograph series is published in-house and distributed by Oxbow Books. The series includes excavation reports, specialist object analyses, and edited thematic volumes based upon OCMA conferences.


RTI imaging from a silicon impression

A white silicon mould impression of the Stele of Thonis-Heracleion was photographed using RTI photography (Reflectance transformation imaging).  The method was employed to enhance and to reveal surface information that is not disclosed under direct empirical examination of the physical object.  Read More...


The Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology offers post-graduate courses in maritime archaeology and provides post-graduate supervision within the School of Archaeology and the Faculty of Classics. Undergraduates are able to take an option in Mediterranean maritime archaeology.


The Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology regularly organizes conferences exploring themes within maritime archaeology or relating to the fieldwork of the Centre and of the IEASM.


People involved with the Centre.


Contact details.


The Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology publishes a monograph series as part of the publication programme of the Institute of Archaeology. The OCMA oversees the scholarly publication of the fieldwork conducted by the IEASM in Alexandria and the submerged Canopic region, as well as post-excavation studies of the material culture recovered from these excavations by IEASM specialists and Hilti Foundation sponsored post-graduate students. The monograph series also includes works based upon OCMA’s conferences.


The Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology has an expanding fieldwork programme, combining research with opportunities for students to gain experience in underwater survey and excavation. The OCMA is currently excavating a shipwreck in Aboukir Bay, Egypt, a collaborative venture with the IEASM. The centre also supports research into maritime facilities and the coastal economy in eastern Libya.

© 2012 School of Archaeology; Christoph Gerigk © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation; © Robert Hohlfelder