RALEIGH–The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources announces the hiring of John W. Morris III as deputy state archaeologist and head of the state’s Underwater Archaeology Branch at Kure Beach. Morris is a nautical archaeologist with more than 25 years of field experience. His undergraduate studies were at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he was graduated with honors in History, with a minor in Anthropology. He was awarded a masters’ degree in history from East Carolina University, graduating from the Program for Nautical Archaeology and Maritime History.
His work at Cultural Resources will include expansion of the state’s shipwreck data files, and sharing that information with students and professional researchers. He will process permit applications for exploration of historic resources in state waters, and will also guide research on the Queen Anne’s Revenge shipwreck, and on numerous Civil War shipwrecks and other sites yet undiscovered.
Morris has worked for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research, and the Lighthouse Maritime Archaeological Program, which he founded and directed. In 1999 he created South Eastern Archaeological Services, Inc., a research and consulting firm that he directed before joining DCR’s Office of State Archaeology.
He has conducted projects for numerous state and federal agencies as well as the United States Navy, and several museums and research institutions in this country and overseas. His specialty is the evolution of ship construction and the contextual interpretation of vessel remains, subjects he has written about in a number of professional and public venues. Some of his projects have been made into television documentaries and appeared in the magazines National Geographic andAmerican Archaeology. These projects have included work on the Confederate raider CSS Alabama off the coast of France, the complete documentation and recovery of a 16th century Spanish messenger vessel in Bermuda, and the decade long excavation of Betsey, a British transport ship lost at Yorktown, Va. in 1781 during the final battle of the American Revolution.