Bradley A. Rodgers


  • Ph.D., Union Institute
  • Program Director
  • Phone: 252-328-1964
  • Office: Eller 100
  • Email:

Professor Bradley Rodgers has spent 3 decades conducting underwater archaeology projects in the Western Hemisphere. He has published 15 books and site reports and a score of articles and book chapters. He has been the Primary Investigator for 46 major archaeological projects. In addition to his oceanic and estuarine knowledge and experience he continues to conduct research in fresh water archaeology. He has led projects on the Great Lakes since 1985, where his crews have archaeologically identified all of the major Great Lakes ships classes of the 19th century.

In addition, Dr. Rodgers and his team have located and identified several different classes of river steamer, from the east coast to the Missouri River. He is an expert in the history of marine technology transfer and its economic impacts. He also teaches 18th and 19th century ship construction techniques and developed ECU's water recovered artifacts laboratory. His 25 years of conservation experience culminated in the publication of The Archaeologist Manual for Conservation (2004).

Dr. Rodgers currently directs the Maritime Studies Program having worked there from the ground up, developing many of the Masters Degree classes. His vast field experience has honed his ability to make a wreck speak to the living, while growing his awareness of the folly and limitations of overreaching interpretation. Dr. Rodgers projects stretch geographically north and south from Lake Superior to the Caribbean Sea: and east and west from Bermuda to Midway Island. He has made major contributions to marine archaeology in the areas of site formation process and interpretation using an intimate working knowledge of artifact degradation theory. He has studied WWII sites such as the Battleship Arizona and submerged aircraft, yet has been instrumental in finding and identifying the earliest wrecks in Bermuda and North Carolina.

Current projects on Dr. Rodgers' agenda include publication of the results of his study of 19th Century Great Lakes ship types, their history, and their economic and technical evolution. He is also processing a multi-component colonial river site in North Carolina, possibly the earliest contact site yet located there. The Bowling Farm archaeological site includes an early 18th century shipwreck, a wharf, and the remains of a trading post or village. He continues to teach Field Schools and Maritime History classes.

Selected Publications

Sample Books

2008 The Steamboat Montana and the Opening of the West: History, Excavation, and Architecture. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL (with Annalies Corbin).

2004 The Archaeologist's Manual for Conservation, A Guide to Non-Toxic, Minimal Intervention Artifact Stabilization. Kluwer/Plenum Publishers, New York, NY.

1996 Guardian of the Great Lakes: The U.S. Paddle Frigate Michigan. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI.

Sample Journals

2006 Steamboat Montana – Leviathan of the American Plains. International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, in review (With Bradley A. Rodgers). In Press.

2005 Ruling Theories Linger: Questioning the Identity of the Beaufort Inlet Shipwreck. International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 34(1): 24-37 (With Wayne Lusardi and Nathan Richards).

2003 Mud box - filled with stone: the wreck of the scow schooner Dan Hayes. International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 32(2): 210 - 224 (with Annalies Corbin).

2002 Shipwreck in a Swamp: the Burrough's Site at Edenton, N. Carolina, USA. International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 31(2): 228 - 236 (with Annalies Corbin).

2001 Naval Warfare: An International Encyclopedia, ABC Clio Press, Santa Babara, CA., 3 Volumes, 2001, Ed. Spencer Tucker, ISBN 1576072193. Contributing author.

2000 Arizona's Oil; Where is it, How Much is there, Can We Find It Before It Finds Us? Conference Proceedings From the 12th Annual Symposium on Maritime Archaeology and History of Hawai'i and the Pacific, Hans Van Tilburg, editor. University of Hawai'i, Manoa.

1998 The Lost PBYs of Kaneohe Bay, Archaeology of the First Casualties of Pearl Harbor. Journal of the Society for Historical Archaeology 32(4): 4 - 16 (with W. Coble and H. Van Tilberg).

1997 Tools, Techniques, and Zero Visibility Archaeology. Diving for Science 1997, Proceedings of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences, Edward Maney, Jr. and Charles Ellis, Jr. editors, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts (with F. Cantelas).

1994 The Maple Leaf: A Case Study in Cost Effective Zero Visibility Riverine Archaeology. The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology23(4): 324-336 (with F. Cantelas).

1994 An Early Falcon and Its Shot. Military Collector and Historian 45(1): 38-39 (with Dr. L. Babits).