Frederick “Fritz” Hanselmann is Research Faculty and the Chief Underwater Archaeologist and Dive Training Officer with the River Systems Institute/Aquarena Center and the Center for Archaeological Studies. He holds two master’s degrees and is a doctoral candidate at Indiana University. Having worked on underwater sites from a wide variety of time periods, his research ranges from submerged paleoindian and prehistoric deposits in springs and caverns to historic shipwrecks around the world. Fritz is the co-director of the underwater archaeological research at Spring Lake on campus. He also led the first-ever archaeological survey of the mouth of the Río Chagres in Panama in 2008 as the initial phase of the ongoing Río Chagres Maritime Cultural Landscape Study, which continued in 2010 with the excavation of cannons that could possibly be from the wrecks of Henry Morgan’s ships lost in 1671. Some of his research with Indiana University was also featured in the National Geographic Expedition Week 2008 program “Shipwreck! Captain Kidd”, which is a documentary of a shipwreck that the archaeological and historical records indicate to be Captain Kidd’s Quedagh Merchant, sunk off the coast of the Dominican Republic in 1699. Fritz also focuses on capacity building and training for archaeologists and heritage managers in less developed countries, as well as the development of marine protected areas and underwater preserves. He is a PADI Instructor, a Nautical Archaeology Society Tutor, and will be teaching Underwater Archaeology and Scientific Diving at the Aquarena Center. Fritz was formerly employed as the Field Archaeologist/Dive Safety Officer with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University and as Lecturer/Field Research Director with the Indiana University Office of Underwater Science.
Pictured above: Fritz excavating an underwater unit at Spring Lake.