Assistant classiscal archaeology professor Dan Davis to teach new J-term class

Sept. 21, 2011       

Dan Davis, Luther College visiting assistant professor of classical archaeology, will teach a new January-term course on underwater archaeology in 2012.

Students will investigate the technological methods and discoveries of underwater archaeology and its effect on understanding the ancient, medieval and early modern world. They will explore the relationship of technology and seafaring, as well as the religious beliefs of seafarers in historic times.

Students will also study the history of navigation and gain some insights into the daily life of mariners throughout history. "We will also talk about broader themes, such as piracy in ancient time and piracy today, and how the ethics of archaeology, particularly underwater archaeology, are still being debated today, " Davis said.

Davis's research is focused on maritime technology, seaborne trade and navigation in the ancient Mediterranean and Black Sea. Davis has worked as a marine archaeologist on projects in the U.S., Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus, Ukraine and the Republic of Georgia.

Most recently he served as marine archaeologist in an eastern Mediterranean expedition onboard the E/V Nautilus. The Nautilus, which left port on July 21, began its expedition in the Black Sea, continued to the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas and will finish in November off the coast of Israel.

Nautilus expedition scientists will map the sea floor, study underwater volcanoes, investigate unusual life forms, explore shipwrecks and perform numerous other archaeological explorations.

Davis has also served as a researcher for the Institute of Classical Archaeology at the University of Texas at Austin, which for more than a decade has been excavating the ancient Greek colonial site of Chersonesos in the southwest Crimea, Ukraine.

Davis began his interest in the undersea world as a U.S. Navy hardhat diver aboard submarine rescue ships.

He holds the bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa, the master's degree in nautical archaeology from Texas A&M University and the doctoral degree in classical archaeology from the University of Texas at Austin.