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University of Haifa, UC San Diego Open Marine Archaeology Research Station

(April 20, 2021)

On April 20, 2021, a binational team of U.S. and Israeli archaeologists inaugurated the joint University of Haifa-University of California San Diego Marine Archaeology Research Station in Acre.

“We are joining an international community of excellence in the exploration and research of submerged cultural heritage around the world,” explained UC San Diego Department of Anthropology distinguished professor Thomas E. Levy. “Our Scripps Center for Marine Archaeology (SCMA) vision is to examine climate, environmental and cultural change in the connected ancient world, stretching from the Mediterranean world to India and China.”

“This is the culmination of a most fruitful collaboration in the field of underwater and coastal archaeology,” said University of Haifa professor Assaf Yasur-Landau, who directs the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies. “Our partnership combines decades of experience in underwater archaeology in the Recanati Institute with the world-leading oceanography in UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.”

“We’ve been very active in the last few years conducting a joint field school, conducting geophysical surveys and making exciting discoveries such as the brand-new Hellenistic (ca. 4th century BCE) port of Dor,” Yasur-Landau noted. “This joint research station aims to address the fundamental questions of human adaptation to climate change in past societies along the Carmel coast of Israel, one of the only places in the world in which there is an uninterrupted sequence of more than 10,000 years of human habitation.”

Scripps Oceanography’s Deputy Director for Research Doug Bartlett said, “Our strategic collaboration holds great promise and we deeply appreciate the partnership with the Recanati Institute,” said Bartlett, who is also UC San Diego’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences. “We hope this will develop into a long-term relationship with more post-doc and graduate student exchanges and joint research expeditions, and we support the even broader vision of enhanced research collaboration with Israel and countries around the Eastern Mediterranean.”

Source: Doug Ramsey, “U.S., Israeli Universities Open Marine Archaeology Research Station,” UC San Diego News Center, (April 23, 2021).

Photo: UC San Diego archaeologist Tom Levy (right) and University of Haifa archaeologist Assaf Yasur-Landau in diving gear prior to conducting an underwater survey of an ancient site near Acre. Courtesy UC San Diego.