Thursday, March 03, 2005


Archaeological researcher to discuss underwater finds


The Free Press
By Michael Parker
March 01, 2005

A renowned researcher who works in Eastern North Carolina will be the featured speaker for the March 8 meeting of the Ram Neuse Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Gordon Payne Watts Jr. of Washington, N.C., will share a program about some of the underwater archaeological finds he has made that relate to the War Between the States.

The meeting will begin with a buffet dinner at 7 p.m. at King's Restaurant, U.S. 70 East.

Watts is the director of Tidewater Atlantic Research in Washington.

He founded Tidewater Atlantic Research in 1979 when he saw the need for someone to provide historical and archaeological research and cultural resources management to state and federal agencies and other institutions.

His staff brings the latest technology to the field. They are versed in both acoustic and magnetic remote sensing, self contained and surface supplied compressed air and mixed gas diving operations, underwater photographic and closed circuit television documentation, remote operated vehicle piloting, and artifact analysis and conservation.

Watts has worked on projects for federal agencies, including the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army Engineer District, Wilmington; U.S. Army Engineer District, Philadelphia; U.S. Army Engineer District, Baltimore; and U.S. Army Engineer District, Charleston.

In 1993, Watts joined Dr. William N. Still at East Carolina University to design and develop the university's program in Maritime History and Underwater Research.

They designed this program to provide graduate opportunities for students interested in maritime history and underwater archaeology.

Students enrolled in the program participate in both a summer field school in Maritime History and Underwater Archaeology and a fall research semester designed to provide field experience on a variety of research projects involving site location, identification, testing, and excavation.

He and his students worked the USS Monitor. He has also surveyed Civil War shipwrecks in Mobile Bay and off Fort Fisher,for the National Park Service.

He also has documented the Confederate ironclads CSS Jackson for the Confederate Naval Museum and the CSS Neuse for the North Carolina Division of Archives and History.


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