RPM Nautical Foundation is a non-profit IRS US 509 (a) (3) research and educational organization that performs maritime archaeological research in the Mediterranean. Our supported institution is the Institute of Nautical Archaeology. Donations to RPM Nautical Foundation are tax-deductible to the same extent as a US 501 (c) (3) entity.
A central part of RPMNF’s mission is to identify ancient shipwreck sites for evaluation by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, the world’s leading specialists in full-scale excavation of shipwrecks.
The primary goals of RPMNF are to advance the field of nautical archaeology by using the latest maritime technologies to locate underwater cultural heritage – submerged sites containing historic or older shipwrecks and human habitation sites that are precious and irreplaceable time capsules of our history and culture. RPM’s projects, carried out in conjunction with host governments, are a crucial component in the effort to protect submerged archaeological sites and maritime heritage in the Mediterranean.
At the Forefront of Maritime Archaeology
Since it was founded more than a decade ago, RPMNF has moved to the forefront of archaeological survey and littoral investigation in the Mediterranean through the intensive and systematic use of advanced technologies.
Multibeam echosounder systems employed on the RPMNF research vessel R/V Hercules provide advanced seafloor mapping capabilities for archaeological purposes. Through three-dimensional modeling based on multibeam data, RPMNF has identified countless critical underwater cultural heritage sites dating from early antiquity to the 20th century.
Sites identified from remote sensing data are verified and documented with RPM’s remotely operated vehicle (ROV) or diver investigation. Multibeam sonar fixed to the ROV also provides an effective method for intensive ground-truthing of site areas. The ROV is also employed for excavation of deep-water sites; another process by which RPMNF is helping to advance within the field of maritime archaeology.
RPMNF’s remote sensing and verification methodology has proved successful in the identification, mapping, and recording of shipwreck sites and harbor works in projects conducted to date in Spain, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Malta, Morocco, Cyprus, Sicily, Amalfi and Calabria (Italy), Turkey, Tunisia, and Greece.
Advancing Research & Education. Protecting Cultural Heritage.
All archaeological work is performed in conjunction with the host country’s cultural authority. The standing policy with RPM is that all artifacts are under the jurisdiction of the host government at all times. The location and assessment data of wreck sites have proved beneficial to the many governments with which we have worked as it provides their cultural authorities with the information needed to protect their archaeological, cultural, and environmental resources. Bathymetric data is also made available to host country hydrographic departments in order to supplement their oceanographic mapping programs. RPMNF research vessel Hercules is based in Valetta, Malta during the off-season and is deployed throughout the Mediterranean on a project basis.
RPMNF Head Office
1111 12th Street, Suite 404
Key West, Florida 33040
Michael Blades, Office Manager
RPMNF Mediterranean Office
and Boat Manager, E. Mercieca
1, The Carobs, Giebja Street, Malta