The Need for Academic Integrity in Mass Media: A Perspective from Nautical Archaeology in The Bahamas




Filmmaking, Academic Integrity, Media Media


The Bahamas has a rich history with nautical archaeology, even if the academic discipline of nautical archaeology is largely unfamiliar to Bahamians. Season 2 of Cooper’s Treasure, a documentary television series released and distributed by Discovery Channel, follows Darrell Miklos and his crew around The Bahamas searching for shipwrecks. Unfortunately, treasure hunting is still a common problem in The Bahamas; piracy is not relegated to the past. Illegal looting and damage constitute a serious threat to the country’s underwater cultural heritage. Accordingly, this study contributes to this discussion by conducting a critical analysis of two television docu-series, Treasure Quest and Cooper’s Treasure and media discussions surrounding nautical archaeology and treasure hunting in The Bahamas. The study finds that media discussions in The Bahamas incorrectly interpret treasure hunting to be part of nautical archaeology. Furthermore, there is a widespread feeling in The Bahamas that treasure hunting is necessary.

Author Biography

Abigail Darville, University of Southampton

Masters Graduate Center for Maritime Archaeology


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