Discover stories behind the latest exhibitions, fascinating explorations into maritime science and archaeology, and the surprising details of what happens inside (and outside) a modern working museum.

James Hunter

Dr James Hunter is the inaugural Curator of RAN Maritime Archaeology at the Australian National Maritime Museum. He received his MA in historical archaeology from the University of West Florida, and holds a PhD in maritime archaeology from Flinders University, where he is an Associate Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology. James has worked in the field of maritime archaeology for nearly two decades, and during that time has participated in the investigation of shipwrecks and other archaeological sites ranging from prehistory to the modern era. He was a member of the archaeological team that investigated the American Civil War submarine H.L. Hunley, and a staff archaeologist with the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command’s Underwater Archaeology Branch. He has been published widely and is also an accomplished archaeological illustrator whose work has been featured in a number of scholarly books and articles.

: The author (right) and Irini Malliaros from the Silentworld Foundation use ‘old school’ methods to obtain measurements of the Admiralty Old Pattern Long-Shanked Anchor found in the shallows at Boot Reef. Image: Julia Sumerling/Silentworld Foundation.

An anchor’s secrets revealed

07 Mar 2019

In December last year, maritime archaeologists and researchers from the museum and the Silentworld Foundation conducted a shipwreck survey of Boot Reef in the Coral Sea. While searching for the wreck of the Lancashire Lass, they also discovered something at the end of a large, long chain...

Read more
The exposed breech of one of four iron cannons at shipwreck site RI 2394 (‘Kerry site’). The visible portion of the cannon is approximately one metre in length, and the photogrammetry target in the foreground measures 10 centimetres square. Image: Irini Malliaros/Silentworld Foundation© RIMAP 2018, used with permission.

Photogrammetric recording in the search for Cook’s Endeavour

10 Feb 2019

Lieutenant James Cook’s HMB Endeavour is best known as the ship whose voyage to Australia led to the European colonisation of this continent. But what became of it after it returned to England? The answer seems to lie on the muddy seafloor of a historic harbour in the United States. By Dr James Hunter and Kieran Hosty (ANMM) and Irini Malliaros (Silentworld Foundation).

Read more

HMAS WYATT EARP

11 Jan 2018

On 26 December 1947, a small, nondescript wooden-hulled motor vessel set off from Hobart, bound for Antarctica. Its silhouette resembled that of an ageing offshore fishing craft, but its weather deck was packed from stem to stern with supplies and equipment – including a single-engine Vought-Sikorsky Kingfisher floatplane.

Read more

Old Wrecks, 'Black Reefs'

07 Sep 2017

This past January, a collaborative research team comprising maritime archaeologists from the Silentworld Foundation and the museum conducted a shipwreck survey at Kenn Reefs in Australia’s Coral Sea Territory.

Read more