HFF Annual Lectures

Listen or watch previous HFF Annual Lectures here….


‘Diving in the Seas of Sustainability : Maritime Archaeology and Global Challenges’. Dr Arturo Rey da Silva. In the era of Blue Growth, what role can Maritime Archaeology play in a sustainable future? Despite a decade of archaeological discoveries, the relevance of Maritime Archaeology remains in question as economies and livelihoods are placed at the forefront of the Sustainable Development Goals. Infrastructural and economic development in the marine zone is growing faster than the ability of countries to establish protection for their marine natural and cultural resources. Policies are inadequate, capacities are scarce, and heritage is often seen as a barrier to development, despite its importance in achieving global sustainability. As recent studies have shown, development strategies that do not take culture, including heritage, into account can work to decrease local livelihoods and community well-being.


‘Advancing Maritime Archaeology: the Honor Frost Foundation Achievements Ten years on’. Dr Lucy Blue, Dr Naseem Raad, Dr Maria Michael and Ziad Morsy. 2021 is the 10th anniversary of the Honor Frost Foundation. To celebrate we decided to take a different approach to the 10th annual lecture – inviting not one but four lecturers! The HFF Maritime Archaeological Director Dr Lucy Blue, outlines the contribution the Foundation has made to developing research and capacity in the eastern Mediterranean over the last ten years. Her lecture provides the context for a more in-depth exploration of research in the key HFF regions, through the insight of recently completed HFF doctoral scholars from Lebanon, Cyprus and Egypt. The scholars reflect on their research and the impact that support from the Foundation has had on their careers, their home institutions and for maritime archaeology more generally in their country.


The 9th Annual Lecture of the Honor Frost Foundation, ‘Ancient lighthouses, shipwrecks and anchorages – exploring the maritime archaeology of Egypt, was delivered by Professor Emad Khalil from the Alexandria Centre for Maritime Archaeology and Underwater Cultural Heritage, on Monday 7th December 2020. Due to the covid-19 pandemic this was held remotely via Zoom. 

Emad Khalil’s talk presented a number of maritime archaeological projects being undertaken across Egypt with the support of the Honor Frost Foundation, demonstrating the legacy of Honor Frost who first investigated the Pharos site in Alexandria. 


The 8th Annual Lecture of the Honor Frost Foundation, ‘Excavating a Deep-water shipwreck: Challenges and opportunities’, was delivered by Dr Timmy Gambin from the University of Malta, on Monday 2nd December 2019.

Timmy Gambin’s talk highlighted some approaches and state-of-the art technologies used to study, explore, record and share a Pheonician wreck located in 110 metres of water during this long-term project.


The seventh Annual Lecture of the Honor Frost Foundation was delivered by Martine Francis-Allouche, maritime archaeologist and scientific co-director of the archaeological research project “Byblos & the Sea”.

In the 1960s, Honor Frost began a long-term marine survey programme in Lebanon, specifically in Byblos, to look for the ancient harbour of the city – a quest she pursued for the rest of her life. In 2011, Martine Francis-Allouche and her co-director, Nicolas Grimal, took up the reins of this research, and the multi-disciplinary investigation “Byblos & the Sea” began. Ten field investigations have been conducted so far, the main objectives of which are to link the ancient city to its seafront, to understand the maritime approaches to Byblos, and to locate the harbour installation responsible for the economic growth of the city in Antiquity.

More information about the project can be found here 


The 6th Annual Lecture of the Honor Frost Foundation, ‘The vision of Honor Frost and the future of her Foundation’, was delivered by Dr Lucy Blue, Maritime-Archaeological Director Honor Frost Foundation, on Monday 11 December 2017.

Dr Blue looks back at the first 6 years of the Foundation’s work in supporting maritime archaeology in the eastern Mediterranean and outlines the strategy driving the Foundation in nurturing the discipline for the years ahead.


To coincide with the exhibition ‘Storms War and Shipwrecks, Treasures from the Sicilian Seas’ at the Ashmolean Museum, Professor ElenaFlavia Castagnino Berlinghieri delivered a lecture on 24 September 2016 – Beyond ‘Storms War and Shipwrecks’ 60 years of Maritime Archaeology around Sicily


Ross Thomas and Alexandra Villing delivered the fourth annual lecture of the Honor Frost Foundation on Thursday 10 December 2015 at the British Academy

The port of Naukratis was the earliest Greek port in Egypt, established in the late seventh century BC, long before the foundation of Alexandria. As a base for foreign traders and the port of the royal Pharaonic city of Sais, it was an important hub for long-distance maritime trade and cross-cultural exchange, and remained so until the completion of Alexandria. Excavations in 1884–1903 revealed extensive archaeological remains, including Greek and Egyptian temples, domestic and industrial structures.

The British Museum’s Naukratis Project, directed by Alexandra Villing, has since 2012 begun a new programme of fieldwork at the ancient port, directed by Ross Thomas and funded by the Honor Frost Foundation since 2013. One of its key aims is to investigate a central but hitherto neglected aspect of the site: its harbours and its development as a major international port city.




John Carswell talks about his travels with Honor and the early days in Bodrum when they first met Peter Throckmorton and the Yassi Ada wreck and how in his view Honor really invented the science of underwater archaeology. He draws upon his diaries and letters and includes anecdotes of their friendship and an amusing story about Wilfred Evill, her guardian, whom he knew well, and it is his generosity which ultimately led to the creation of the HFF.

The talk recorded at the British Academy in June 2014 is introduced by Alison Cathie, the Chair of the Honor Frost Foundation.

This talk is currently unavailable and will be uploaded shortly. 


Dr Stella Demesticha, Assistant Professor of Maritime Archaeology and Director of the MARELab at the University of Cyprus delivered the third Annual Lecture of the Honor Frost Foundation entitled ‘Shipwreck Archaeology in the Mediterranean: New Times and New Challenges’ on 9 December 2014 at the British Academy, London


Coming of Age: Underwater Archaeology in the 21st Century by Dr Jon Henderson. Given on 12 December 2013 at the British Academy. Introduced by Dr Venetia Porter, Trustee of the Honor Frost Foundation.

This lecture is a personal account of the development and perception of underwater archaeology over the past two decades drawing on research on lake dwellings in the dark, peaty lochs of Scotland through surveying the oldest submerged town in the world off the coast of Greece, to hunting for bronze battle rams at the first ancient naval battle site to be discovered in the Mediterranean off the coast of Sicily. Most importantly, using the Mediterranean as a case study, the lecture considers where underwater archaeology is now and what exciting directions it might follow in the coming decades.



A distinguished audience gathered at the British Academy on 4 December 2012 to hear Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe CBE, FBA deliver the inaugural Honor Frost Annual Lecture.

Titled ‘Prehistoric connectivity: the maritime dimension‘, Sir Barry began by paying homage to the fundamental contribution of Honor Frost in establishing marine and maritime archaeology as the rich and exacting discipline it is today.

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