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.[1] 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. In this former position, Dr. Royal steered the areas of study and research towards the Mediterranean and expanded field projects throughout the region. 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) that he initiated in 2009 and the Battle of the Egadi Islands site he established with Sebastiano Tusa in 2005. Currently Dr. Royal is an Adjunct Professor in the Program in Maritime Studies at East Carolina University where he works with students and continues his research in the Mediterranean. 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[edit]

  • Royal, Jeffrey G. "The Levanzo I Wreck and the Transfer of Technology by Sea in the Late Roman Mediterranean," in Tradition and Transition: Maritime Studies in the Wake of the Byzantine Shipwreck at Yassiada, Turkey, edited by D. N. Carlson, S. M. Kampbell, and J. Leidwanger. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 2015: 127-44, 317-43.
  • Royal, Jeffrey G. "Maritime Evidence for Overseas Trade along the Illyrian Coast: the Eastern Mediterranean Connections," in S. Demesticha (ed.) Proceedings of the Per Terram Per Mare Conference, Nicosia, Cyprus, 12–15 April, Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology 2013, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, 2015: 199-218.
  • Royal, Jeffrey G. with S. Tusa, 2014, "La Battaglia della Egadi," Proceedings of the 8th Congresso Internazionale di Studi Fenicio e Punico, Carbonia-Sant’Antioco, Sardinia, October 21–26, 2013.
  • Royal, Jeffrey G. 2013, "Erforschung der Antike in den Meeren des alten Illyrien," in M. Reinfeld (ed.) Archäologie im Mittelmeer. Auf der suche nach versunkenen Schiffswracks und vergessenen Häfen, Sonderbände der Antiken Welt: 90-8.
  • Royal, Jeffrey G. 2012 "The Illyrian Coastal Exploration Program, first interim report (2007-9): the Roman and Late-Roman finds," American Journal of Archaeology 116.3: 405-60.
  • Royal, Jeffrey G. with S. Tusa and C. Buccelleto, 2012 "La Soprintendenza del Mare alla ricerca del luogo esatto della Battaglia delle Egadi (241 a.C.)," in C. Ampolo (ed.) Sicilia occidentale. Studi, rassegne, ricerche. Atti delle settime giornate internazionali di studi sull’area elima e la Sicilia occidentale nel contesto mediterraneo Erice, 12-15 Ottobre 2009. Pisa. 287-96
  • Royal, Jeffrey G. with S. Tusa, 2012, "The Levanzo 1 Wreck: A 4th-century CE Merchantman in the Service of the Annona?", International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 41.1: 26-55.
  • Royal, Jeffrey G. with S. Tusa, 2012, "The Landscape of the Naval Battle at the Egadi Islands (241 B.C.)," with S. Tusa, Journal of Roman Archaeology 25: 7-48.
  • Royal, Jeffrey G. with Stanley, J.–D., Nickerson, G., Bernasconi, M.P., Fischer, S., McClure, N., Segal, T., 2011. "Multibeam sonar technology and geology to interpret ancient harbor subsidence off Crotone Peninsula, Italy," Méditerranée 114: 127-41.
  • Royal, Jeffrey G. 2011, "New Evidence for Old Sites: a response to the ‘reassessment’ of the Capo Colonna survey data," International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 40.2: 427-32.
  • Royal, Jeffrey G. 2010,"At the Transition from Late Medieval to Early Modern: the Archaeology of Three Deepwater Finds from Turkey." with Dr. John McManamon, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 39.2: 327-44.
  • Royal, Jeffrey G. 2009,"Three Renaissance Wrecks from Turkey and Their Implications for Maritime History in the Eastern Mediterranean." with Dr. John McManamon, Journal of Maritime Archaeology 4.2: 103-29.
  • 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.


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