As the name suggests, underwater archaeology refers to excavating artifacts from under the water. Most of it centers on looking for cities and other sites that have been buried by the water – most often by the sea. In addition, some underwater archaeology looks for and explores shipwrecks.
Because of the nature of underwater archaeology, it is a very niche pursuit often involving very expensive equipment. Underwater archaeologists often use echolocation or other technologies to scan the sea (or lake) floor, before sending down divers using SCUBA equipment.
Underwater archaeology can, by nature of its location, be extremely dangerous, particularly because archaeologists often have to explore structurally unsound surfaces in areas of limited visibility and at significant depths.
Although it can be dangerous, underwater archaeology can uncover extremely interesting pieces of evidence.
Archaeologists occasionally find evidence of objects being traded that suggest connections between very disparate cultures. By piecing together these trade networks, we can build a picture of historical connections across the globe.