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The Institute of Maritime Research and Discovery
Research Associate

Pearce Paul Creasman, Ph.D.


Thesis (Pdf)
Vitae (Pdf)

Dissertation
(Available beginning November 2012)

Past IMRD Project(s): Co-director of the Ponta da Piedade (Lagos, Portugal) and Algarve region nautical archaeology survey, recording, and assessment project. Conducted by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, Camara Municaipal de Lagos, Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation, and the IMRD.

Director/PI of the Cairo Dahshur Boats project. Conducted with the support of the Egyptian Museum, Cairo (Egypt), the Supreme Council on Antiquities (Egypt), the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, MSC LT Jordan Institute for International Awareness, Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities, RPM Nautical Foundation, and the IMRD.

Visiting nautical specialist to the expedition at Mersa Gawasis/Wadi Gawasis on the Red Sea, Egypt. Conducted by the Istituto Universitario Orientale, Naples (Italy) and Boston University, Boston (USA), under the direction of Prof. Rodolfo Fattovich and Prof. Kathryn A. Bard. Dr. Claire Calcagno and Dr. Chiara Zazzaro are in charge of ship-related elements from the sites.

Principal investigator of the Harriot Manuscript Publication project (Cambridge, England) focuses on Thomas Harriot's (1560-1621) manuscript on shipbuilding and rigging- Arcticon (the name-sake of the IMRD's annual). Unfortunately, this manuscript is now lost and only chapters of Harriot's personal notes remain, buried in the archives. It is the goal of this project to transcribe, synthesize, and publish these lost notes. The IMRD is the sole sponsor of this endeavor.

Doctorate (Ph.D): Texas A&M University, Anthropology (Nautical Archaeology Program)
Dissertation Title:
Extracting Cultural Information from Ship Timber
Chair: Dr. Filipe Castro (alternate link)
Conferred: Dec. 2010

Dissertation Abstract: "This dissertation is rooted in one general question: what can the wood from ships reveal about the people and cultures who built them? Shipwrecks are only the last chapter of a complex story, and while the last fifty years of nautical archaeology have rewritten a number of these chapters, much of the information unrelated to a ship’s final voyage remains a mystery. However, portions of that mystery can be exposed by an examination of the timbers.

An approach for the cultural investigation of ship timbers is presented and attempts are made to establish the most reliable information possible from the largely unheralded treasures of underwater excavations: timbers. By introducing the written record, iconographic record, and the social, economic, and political factors to the archaeological record a more complete analysis of the cultural implications of ship and boat timbers is possible. I test the effectiveness of the approach in three varied case-studies to demonstrate its limits and usefulness: ancient Egypt’s Middle Kingdom, the Mediterranean under Athenian influence, and Portugal and the Iberian Peninsula during the Discoveries. The results of these studies demonstrate how ship timbers can be studied in order to better understand the people who built the vessels."

Master of Arts: Texas A&M University, Anthropology (Nautical Archaeology Program)
Thesis Title: The Cairo Dahshur Boats
Conferred: Dec. 2005

Thesis Abstract: "Excavations conducted in A.D. 1894 and 1895 by French archaeologist Jean-Jacques de Morgan at the funerary complex of the ancient Egyptian Middle Kingdom pharaoh Senwosret III on the plain of Dahshur revealed some unparalleled finds which included five or six small boats. These boats provide a unique opportunity in nautical archaeology—to study contemporaneous hulls. Today, only four of the "Dahshur boats" can be located with certainty; two are in the United States, one in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh and one in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The remaining two are on display in The Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

Since their excavation these boats remained relatively inconspicuous until the mid-1980s when a study of the two hulls in the United States was conducted. However, the two boats in Cairo remained largely unpublished.

This thesis combines personal observation and recording of the Cairo boats over two summers to reveal more unique characteristics of the hulls and will facilitate a future study of the group as a whole. Each boat is discussed individually and is further divided into its major components by order of construction."

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