Archaeological Research

 Recording the timbers of a shipwreck on New Smyrna Beach believed to date to between 1760 and 1790.

Meaningful archaeological research has always been the foundation of LAMP's mission. Since 1999, LAMP archaeologists have been conducting field operations in the offshore and inland waters and along the coastlines of St. Augustine, the surrounding First Coast region of Florida, and as far away as Europe and Australia. Fieldwork usually consists of 1) survey or the search for undiscovered archaeological sites, 2) investigation, documentation and excavation to better understand these sites, and 3) regular monitoring to help protect and preserve these sites, and to gain insight into how they are affected by natural and human-induced activities such as hurricanes and beach replenishment dredging.

 Documenting the remains of the iron-hulled ship Star of Greece, wrecked in 1888 at Port Willunga in South Australia.
Archaeology is the closest thing we have to a time machine. When carefully excavated and studied by trained archaeologists, shipwrecks become time capsules that can provide a wealth of information on the lives of the people who sailed on them and a broader understanding of trade patterns and socioeconomic activities on a local, regional, and global scale. LAMP has documented and analyzed the remains of a number of ships dating to the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and they have added considerably to our knowledge of the development of America's oldest port and its place in a constantly evolving global economy. Maritime archaeology is not limited to shipwrecks, however, and LAMP archaeologists have also investigated a wide range of sites including anchorages, ballast dump sites, historic boatyards, colonial wharves, locally-built vernacular boats, coastal fortifications, river waterfronts associated with British plantations, ferry and steamboat landings and historic navigational aids such as the Lighthouse itself.

Please explore the links below to learn more about LAMP's ongoing research:


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All text and images, unless otherwise noted, are copyright Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program, Inc. We extend permission to scholars, students, and other interested members of the public to use images and to quote from text for non-commercial educational or research purposes, provided LAMP is acknowledged and credited. If there are any questions regarding the use of LAMP’s work, please inquire at

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St. Augustine, Florida 32080