Tuesday, April 11, 2023: Dr. John Bratten


For more than 460 years, Pensacola’s waterways have been navigated by Spanish colonization ships, British warships, Civil War schooners, and numerous fishing and lumber vessels. Hurricane activity, warfare, and intentional abandonment sent many of these ships to the bottom of the Pensacola Bay and its nearby rivers. Many of these vessels have been documented by University of West Florida maritime archaeologists and students. Several others are being sought through the efforts of historical research and remote sensing techniques. These vessels, along with an update about our documentation of Cuban refugee boats in Key West, Florida, will be the subject of this presentation.

John R. Bratten is a nautical archaeologist and conservator for the University of West Florida. A graduate of the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University, he has experience in the analysis and conservation of artifacts from diverse sources including those from the sunken 17th-century town of Port Royal, Jamaica, to Revolutionary War munitions recovered from Lake Champlain. Following his employment with the University of West Florida in 1996, Bratten has served as principal investigator for numerous underwater archaeology projects including the 2006 and 2016 discoveries of the second and third shipwrecks from the 1559 Spanish colonization fleet of Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano.