Texas A&M Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Nautical Archaeology and founder of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, George F. Bass, has been elected a 2012 fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a prestigious honorary society and a leading center for independent policy research.
The 220 new members, which were announced on Tuesday, are recognized as some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and philanthropic leaders. As one of the pioneers in underwater archaeology, Bass has continued to devote much of his time to the Institute of Nautical Archaeology even after his retirement in 2000.
In his more than 30 years of research and teaching, Bass made many noteworthy contributions to the field. He began diving in 1960, and that same year he became the first person to excavate an ancient shipwreck in its entirety on the sea bed. At the end of the excavation, Bass established a museum of underwater archaeology in the Bodrum castle in Turkey, which is now one of the most popular attractions in Bodrum. He has since excavated a number of shipwreck sites ranging from the Bronze Age through the eleventh century. He has also directed or assisted with prehistoric terrestrial excavations in Greece, Turkey, and Italy.
“Election to the Academy is both an honor for extraordinary accomplishment and a call to serve,” said Academy President Leslie C. Berlowitz. “We look forward to drawing on the knowledge and expertise of these distinguished men and women to advance solutions to the pressing policy challenges of the day.”