George F. Bass; December 9, 1932–March 2, 2021 Age 88
We announce the passing of George Bass, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Texas A&M University, Founder of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, and Father of Underwater Archaeology.
According to the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA), this organization would not have existed without the vision of its founder George F. Bass, the Father of Underwater Archaeology. Bass co-directed the first archaeological expedition to thoroughly excavate an ancient shipwreck, Cape Gelidonya, with Joan du Plat Taylor in 1960. It was the first time that archaeologists themselves had dived on an underwater site. He has excavated shipwrecks from the Bronze Age, Classical Age, and Byzantine periods since leading his first excavation as a PhD student. His wife Ann and two sons often accompanied George around the globe on his exhibitions.
Bass was Professor Emeritus of nautical archaeology at Texas A&M University, where he held the George T. and Gladys H. Abell Chair. He had a master’s degree in Near Eastern archaeology from Johns Hopkins University and a doctorate in Classical archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania.
In 1973 Bass founded the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA).