Michael Murray
PhD Candidate
Email: mcm1c13@soton.ac.uk

Michael Murray is currently a PhD candidate in Archaeology at the University of Southampton where his study involves exploring the use of cutting-edge digital 3D recording techniques for underwater archaeology and marine exploration. He is an accomplished commercial and scientific diver, licensed surface-supplied diving technician, traditional sailboat captain, maritime studies educator, and more recently, 3D laser scanning, photogrammetry, and sonar processing specialist. Since 2014, he has been examining the archaeological efficacy of underwater laser scanning compared to close range micro-bathymetry sonar and photogrammetry through a generous grant by 2G Robotics and its post-production interpretive potential using Mixed Reality platforms supported by Microsoft Hololens.

His experience in underwater archaeology dates back to 1997 when he accepted an invitation to work as an assistant for Dr. Jerome Lynn Hall of Texas A&M University excavating the Monti Cristi Pipewreck; a rare 17th century Dutch smuggling ship with the 3rd largest documented cache of clay pipes found in the new world located off the north coast of the Dominican Republic. Mr. Murray also earned his 100 gross ton Inland Masters/200 NC Mates license after spending 4 years before the mast in the Nautical School Ship Industry aboard notable vessels such as the fully-rigged replica ships HMS Rose (used as the HMS Surprise in the movie “Master and Commander”) and HMS Bounty as her Bosun. In 2006, he owned a replica of a cold-molded 1840 Chesapeake Bay pilot schooner, Momentum, where in partnership with members of the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP), he ran a unique remote sensing shipwreck interpretive tour for the public with the use of a dual frequency Sportscan Sidescan Sonar in St Augustine, Florida. He also worked for a year as a GIS Specialist at the Florida Master Site File in 2004, as an assistant underwater archaeologist for the State of South Carolina as their Sport Diver Archaeology Program manager (SDAMP) in 2005, as a Marine Science and Remote Sensing Technician for Coastal Carolina University in 2008 and a total of 7 years as a maritime archaeologist, remote sensing specialist and dive supervisor for the largest SCRM in the country; Panamerican Consultants, Inc. Recently, he has served as a part-time archaeological diver for Wessex Archaeology, Ltd.

Photo of Michael Murray as dive supervisor for Panamerican Consultants, Inc. running surface supplied diving operations in 2012.

Mr. Murray has had the good fortune throughout his career of participating on several high-profile underwater recording and excavation projects including: a survey of several German and British WWI mine laying submarines in the English Channel in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the UKs involvement in WWI, the National Geographic sponsored Aucilla River Pre-history project in the Panhandle of Florida looking for evidence of the first Native Americans on the continent, and as one of two lead divers in the 2015 archaeological recording and recovery of artifacts of the CSS Georgia; one of the first Confederate Ironclads built in 1861 during the American Civil War.

He is also a long standing member of the Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA), the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS), and the Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS).

Mr. Murray received his Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology with a Minor in History from the University of Idaho 1997, and studied briefly at East Carolina University in their Maritime Studies program before transferring to the University of Southampton in 2002 where he was awarded with an MA in Maritime Archaeology in 2003.

Online Links:

LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-murray-b26b8541

Twitter: Michael@Sealeo72

University of Southampton / Humanities Research Blog: http://blog.soton.ac.uk/humanitiesresearch/author/mcm1c13/


ULS-200 set-up and ready to scan bow section of early 20th century schooner “Mandalay” at night in Biscayne National Park.


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Michael Murray
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Crystal Safadi

PhD student funded by the Honor Frost Foundation. So far I completed two Masters degrees at the University of Southampton: an MSc in Archaeological Computing Spatial Technologies (2012-2013), thesis entitled ' The Beqa'a Valley during the Early Bronze Age: a GIS Approach to Settlement Patterns',  and an MA in Maritime Archaeology (2013-2014), 'Bronze Age and Iron Age Levantine Harbours: an Evaluation of their Afforded Maritime Accessibility and Protection'. During my Masters degrees I developed a set of skills and a passion for GIS, computational approaches, and marine geophysics. In my PhD research I will draw on several methods to investigate the maritime world of the Levantine Early Bronze Age through space and time. I worked on several archaeological digs and surveys, terrestrial and underwater ( Nissia Shipwreck Project 2014, Deltebre I shipwreck excavation 2014, Underwater survey in Anfeh Lebanon 2013, Excavation at Baalbek Lebanon 2012, excavation at Tell Fadous-Kfarabida Lebanon 2011, Tell el-Burak excavation 2011, etc.). Thanks to the support of the Honor Frost Foundation, The Said foundation, the British Lebanese Association, the University of Southampton Archaeology team, and my supervisors Dr Lucy blue and Dr Fraser Sturt, I was and still able to pursue my postgraduate studies.  

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