Jeffrey Royal

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Dr Jeff Royal working in the field

Jeffrey G. Royal (born 1964) is an American archaeologist active in the Mediterranean area. After completing a BA degree in Economics at UNC-Chapel Hill, Dr. Royal returned to school for the study of archaeology. His initial steps included a second BA in Anthropology and a subsequent MA in Anthropology from USC-Columbia. During his studies at USC, he sought out land excavations in southern Italy in which to participate. It was on these excavations that his interests in complex economic/exchange systems, communications, and technology of the Roman world were developed. As the sea has always played a large role in the development of Mediterranean cultures, particularly in the trade and communication, his interests grew to encompass this area. Dr. Royal understood that watercraft represented one of the most advanced aspects of ancient technology; hence, the need for the integration of maritime components into his studies. This led him to the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University in 1994.

Dr. Royal was fortunate to study at Texas A&M when many of the foremost scholars in maritime archaeology were teaching in the program: Drs. Bass, van Doorninck, Hocker, and Pulak, as well as Professor Dick Steffy. While attaining his doctorate, Dr. Royal participated in numerous maritime excavations and surveys in Turkey, Israel, and Morocco. Upon completing his degree, he took the position of Archaeological Director at RPM Nautical Foundation (RPMNF). In this position, Dr. Royal steered the areas of study and research towards the Mediterranean and expanded field projects throughout the region. With RPMNF he has directed projects in Sicily, Calabria, Campania, Malta, Turkey, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Morocco, Spain, and Tunisia. Among his ongoing research programs are the Illyrian Coastal Exploration Program (ICEP) and the Ancient Warship Archaeology Program (AWAP). Numerous articles serve to present this research, and Dr. Royal is currently in the process of writing a book on ancient warships. His current research includes the development and changes in amphora morphology and the implications on overseas exchange in the Mediterranean; the distribution of Roman annona and associated trade such as construction materials; the assessment of ancient warships, strategies and tactics used in the Mediterranean during the Roman era; and Greco-Roman trade and settlement in the Adriatic Sea, particularly the Illyrian coast between the 3rd century BCE to 4th century CE. Royal obtained his PhD from Texas A&M in 2001.

==Selected publications==
  • Royal, Jeffrey G. "Description and Analysis of the Finds from the 2006 Turkish Coastal Survey: Marmaris and Bodrum," International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 371): 88–97. March 2008.
  • Royal, Jeffrey G. and John M. McManoman "Three Renaissance Wrecks from Turkey and Their Implications for Maritime History in the Eastern Mediterranean," Journal of Maritime Archaeology 4(2): 103-129.