Peter Throckmorton

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Peter Throckmorton
Edgerton Alvord Throckmorton

July 30, 1928
DiedJune 5, 1990(1990-06-05) (aged 61)
Scientific career
InstitutionsNova Southeastern University

Edgerton Alvord Throckmorton (July 30, 1928 – June 5, 1990), known as Peter Throckmorton, was an American photojournalist and a pioneer underwater archaeologist. Throckmorton was a founding member of the Sea Research Society and served on its Board of Advisors until his death in 1990. He was also a trustee for NUMA and was an instructor at Nova Southeastern University.


  • The Cape Gelidonya shipwreck (c. 1200 BC) was discovered near the eponymous Cape Gelidonya, Turkey by Throckmorton in 1959 using information provided him by Kemal Aras, a sponge diver from Bodrum, Turkey who had first seen parts of the vessel's cargo of bronze ingots in 1954, but who had failed to recognize that it was actually a Bronze Age shipwreck and thus its archaeological importance. The ship is believed to have been Syrian.[4]
  • The Yassi Ada shipwreck (c. 4th century AD) was discovered in a fully silted ancient Roman harbor at Yassi Ada, Turkey, by Peter Throckmorton and Honor Frost in 1958, but was not fully surveyed and excavated until 1967–69.[5]
  • The Pantano Longarini wreck (c. 600-650 AD), found by Peter Throckmorton and Gerhard Kapitän at Pantano Longarini, Italy in 1965, is of Greek or Southern Italian origin.[6]
  • The Dokos shipwreck (c. 2250-2050 BC) was discovered near Hydra Island, Greece, in 1975 by Peter Throckmorton who found cargo from an obviously sunken ship at 20 meters depth. The cargo consisted of pottery of the Cycladic type. This is possibly the oldest wreck discovered to date.[7]

Peter also discovered the 1877 Aberdeen-built iron bark Elissa lying off the shipbreaker's yard in Perama, Greece. From her lines and fittings and his experience sailing aboard a 'Downeaster' as a teenager, he knew Elissa for what she was – one of the last square-rig ships still in the trade, even if greatly modified, of smuggling cigarettes. His efforts, combined with those of the San Francisco Maritime Museum's founder Karl Kortum, saved the ship until she could find a safe haven with the Galveston Historical Society. She is now completely restored and considered one of the finest nineteenth-century tall ships still sailing.


  • The Sea Remembers: Shipwrecks and Archaeology from Homer's Greece to the Rediscovery of the Titanic, ed. Peter Throckmorton (New York: Smithmark Publishers, 1987) ISBN 1555840930 Library of Congress: 87-14273
  • Oldest Known Shipwreck Yields Bronze Age Cargo. by Peter Throckmorton, National Geographic 121.5 (May 1962): 696-71
  • The Lost Ships: An Adventure in Underwater Archaeology. by Peter Throckmorton, Boston and Toronto, 1964. ISBN 0864380445
  • The economics of treasure hunting with real life comparisons, by Peter Throckmorton, 1990
  • Surveying in Archaeology, by Peter Throckmorton (Aris & Phillips Ltd - Jan 1, 1969) ISBN 0-85668-063-X ISBN 978-0856680632
  • Diving for Treasure, by Peter Throckmorton, published simultaneously by The Viking Press, New York City, and Penguin Books Canada Limited (1977) ISBN 0670274496 Library of Congress: 77-6689
  • History from the Sea, edited by Peter Throckmorton, ISBN 0864380445
  • Shipwrecks and Archaeology: The Unharvested Sea, published simultaneously by Little, Brown and Company, Boston, and Little, Brown & Company (Canada) Limited, Toronto (1970), Library of Congress: 76-79373


  1. ^ Bass, George F. (2014). "Throckmorton, Peter". Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. Springer New York. pp. 7307–7308. doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_638. ISBN 978-1-4419-0426-3.
  2. ^ U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947
  3. ^ Fowler, Glenn (June 11, 1990). "Peter Throckmorton, Archeologist Of Ancient Shipwrecks, Dies at 61". The New York Times. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  4. ^ The Cape Gelidonya wreck circa 1200BC Archived 2006-12-12 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ The Yassi Ada wreck circa 4th century AD Archived 2007-02-04 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ The Pantano Longarini wreck circa 600-650AD Archived 2007-02-06 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ The Dokos wreck circa 2250-2050 BC