TDEC Hosts Virtual Discussion of Submerged Sites in Archaeology Lecture Series

Friday, July 01, 2022 | 09:35am

Dr. Morgan Smith of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga will give a virtual lecture on submerged archaeological sites in Tennessee on Thursday, July 21 at 6 p.m. (CDT).

The lecture is part of a monthly series of speakers including researchers, resource management professionals and archaeology students to highlight archaeological research in Tennessee. The series is hosted by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Division of Archaeology.

Dr. Smith’s talk is titled “Exploring Tennessee’s Submerged Cultural Landscapes and Resources.” Online registration is available at this link.

“When we think about underwater archaeology, we perhaps imagine the faraway ocean wreckage of Spanish galleons, lost Mediterranean cities, or more recently the Antarctic discovery of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance,” said State Archaeologist Phil Hodge. “However, researchers like Dr. Smith are documenting submerged archaeological sites in inland lakes and rivers and are demonstrating the power of such sites to present a more complete picture of the past.”

The Tennessee River is full of inundated archaeological sites which have seen little if any formal monitoring or survey since their inundation over half a century ago. Recently, UTC's anthropology program has begun assessing critical historic and prehistoric sites in the vicinity of Chattanooga. These include the Civil War shipwreck Chattanooga and the Paleoindian LeCroy site (40HA43). This conversation will highlight the process and significance of submerged sites research, the importance of the underwater archaeological record of Tennessee, the state of UTC's research on the aforementioned sites, and future plans for research on these resources.

The online lectures, presented on the third Thursday of each month, are free and open to anyone who wants to participate. Details for the series can be found at this link, and links to each meeting will be provided there as each presentation approaches.

Each year since 1989, the Division of Archaeology has co-sponsored the Current Research in Tennessee Archaeology (CRITA) meeting to promote the state’s archaeological heritage and share information about research in the state. After canceling the 2022 meeting, the division pursued ways to share happenings in Tennessee archaeology with the public and professional community and build momentum toward the anticipated return of CRITA in 2023. The virtual series is a result of those efforts.

Anyone who has questions about the series are invited to contact Hodge by email at