Michael Arbuthnot

Michael Alexander Arbuthnot (born 8 June 1974) is an archaeologist, instructor and archaeological film-maker.


Education and Awards

Michael A. Arbuthnot[1] received his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and minor in Anthropology from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1996. He holds a Master’s Degree in Anthropology from Florida State University. He specialized in underwater archaeology and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Arbuthnot is an active member in many professional organizations, including: the Registry of Professional Archaeologists (RPA); the Florida Archaeological Council (FAC); the Southeastern Archaeological Conference (SEAC); the Florida Anthropological Society (FAS); the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS); and the St. Augustine Archaeological Association (SAAA).

In addition to being the author of many published articles and papers, Arbuthnot is considered an authority on submerged prehistoric sites. He focused his thesis on paleo-environmental change and the impact it has on archaeological sites in the Gulf of Mexico.

Arbuthnot’s research has been presented at many conferences, including the Society for American Archaeology, the Northeast Florida Symposium on Underwater Archaeology, the annual meeting of the Florida Anthropological Society, and the Southeastern Archaeological Conference. The results of his research in the Caribbean are now exhibited at the George Town Museum on Grand Cayman Island.


Michael Arbuthnot is currently a faculty member at Flagler College, located in historic downtown St. Augustine, Florida. There, he teaches his students about the fascinating world of archaeology, which included a field expedition to the RMS Titanic. He hopes to set aside the boring impression people have of archaeology, saying, “People have this idea of archaeologists sitting there with a brush and a toothpick, but it can be exciting.”[2]

Arbuthnot’s trip to the Titanic took him 12,600 feet below the ocean’s surface. James Cameron, the producer, writer, and director of the movie “Titanic” recruited Arbuthnot in 2005 to work on the first systematic archeological survey of Titanic’s internal bow structure. Findings from this survey were shown in the Discovery Channel special “Last Mysteries of the Titanic” and will exhibited as part of the Titanic Legacy Database Project presently in development with the non-profit digital historic preservation organization, CyArk.

Team Atlantis

Arbuthnot founded Team Atlantis Productions in 1996. The name, of course, is a play on the mythical underwater city of Atlantis. Arbuthnot defines Team Atlantis, saying, “TA is a multi-disciplinary outfit whose mission is to explore archeological mysteries with an emphasis on those enigmas associated with underwater contexts.”[3] Because underwater archeological sites usually have some connection with sites on land, Team Atlantis is not restricted to only underwater locations.

Team Atlantis has explored and surveyed many sites around the world,[4] including:

  • Egypt (1996): Here, Arbuthnot and his team traveled extensively along the Giza Plateau. Arbuthnot developed his Orion Pyramid Theory while in Egypt.
  • Grand Cayman Island, Caribbean (1997): Arbuthnot participated in the mapping of the remains of the Geneva Kathleen, a schooner that sank in 1930.
  • Yonaguni, Japan (1998): In Japan, Arbuthnot organized an expedition that examined the Yonaguni Monument and created a film documentary of the experience.
  • Cat Island, Bahamas (2000): Team Atlantis journeyed to the Bahamas to explore the possibility of ancient shorelines submerged in the shallow water of the Great Bahama Bank.
  • The Gulf of Mexico (2000): Arbuthnot and other members of Florida State University’s Program in Underwater Archaeology excavated submerged prehistoric sites and shipwrecks under the direction of Dr. Michael Faught.
  • Yucatán, Mexico (2000): Team Atlantis explored Mayan ruins at Tulum and Chichen Itza and digitally documented their trip.
  • La Jolla in San Diego, California (2005): Underwater artifacts were first discovered here in the early 1900s. Team Atlantis decided to make a trip to California to investigate. The team discovered a total of six artifacts, including a stone bowl, dated 4000 to 7000 years ago. This contributes to the already over 2000 artifacts recovered in this area of at least 34 submerged sites.

More about La Jolla

Team Atlantis Productions plan to open the eyes of the public to archaeological mysteries off the coast of San Diego through their show, “La Jolla’s Sunken City.” Michael Arbuthnot, the Writer/Producer of the show, paired with Director/Editor David Faires, to take underwater cinematography to new depths.

“Not only is Mike Arbuthnot the Writer/Producer, but he is rapidly becoming one of the most recognizable archaeologists in the United States. As a young professional archaeologist and former college professor, Arbuthnot has been featured on ABC, Discovery Channel and the Learning Channel. Most recently Arbuthnot conducted the first archaeological survey of the famous shipwreck R.M.S. Titanic with film maker and explorer James Cameron on Discovery Channel’s televised event, Last Mysteries of the Titanic. He continues to excite audiences and historians alike by blending ancient history and archaeology with filmmaking.”[5]

As stated previously, artifacts were first found in the early 1900s. Children would return to the shore from playing in the shallow water with small stone bowls. Scuba diving became increasingly popular in the 1950s, leading to more exploring around La Jolla. Due to this exploration, more than 2000 artifacts have been recovered. Some date to more than 5000 years ago. At least 34 submerged sites have been discovered in places as deep as 30 meters. Some scientists believe that La Jolla is an entire sunken village. In “La Jolla’s Sunken City,” Arbuthnot and Faires explore several hypotheses concerning how these objects were originally deposited, and they reveal never before seen artifacts.

Arbuthnot had trouble at the beginning of the expedition, but was eventually successful in finding artifacts at La Jolla. According to the CineForm article on La Jolla: Their success was aided by the help of a small octopus. A diver was tracking it, when the octopus stopped behind a round stone. This ‘stone’ turned out to be a beautiful stone bowl, which eventually led the team to discovering a total of six artifacts in 20 feet of water. Arbuthnot speculates that these ancient finds date to between 4,000 and 7,000 years ago![5]


Arbuthnot has worked on underwater archaeology projects in Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, and the Caribbean since 1997. He has surveyed, mapped, excavated, interpreted and analyzed artifacts, and published reports on a variety of diverse archaeological sites. He continues his work, based mainly in Florida. He also functions as Newsletter Editor for the Florida Archaeological Council.

Arbuthnot presently serves as Assistant Vice President and Division Manager of Archaeology, dive supervisor, and principal investigator for underwater archaeological projects at Environmental Services, Inc. (esinc.cc), a significant cultural resource company in Florida.[6]

Secret Worlds with Michael Arbuthnot

Arbuthnot's documentary Secret Worlds with Mike Arbuthnot began airing on the travel channel in 2010.[7]


Born in Oakland, California, son of Robert Murray Arbuthnot, Michael is married to Serena Lynn Conrad who had two sons by her first marriage. They live in St Augustine, Florida.[8]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Michael Broadbent — (2005) John Michael Broadbent MW (born 2 May 1927 in Yorkshire, England) is a British wine critic, writer and auctioneer in a capacity as a Master of Wine. He is a renowned authority on wine tasting and old wines.[ …   Wikipedia

  • Michael Colvin — Member of Parliament for Romsey Romsey and Waterside (1983 1997) In office 9 June 1983 – 24 February 2000 Preceded by Constituency Established Succeeded by Sandra Gidley …   Wikipedia

  • Michael Francklin — or Franklin (6 December 1733 – 8 November 1782) served as Nova Scotia s Lieutenant Governor from 1766 1772. Born in Poole, England, Francklin immigrated to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1752. He worked as a trader and merchant, initially in association …   Wikipedia

  • Michael Ancram — The Most Honourable The Marquess of Lothian PC QC Shadow Foreign Secretary In office 18 September 2001 – 10 May 2005 Leader Iain Duncan Smith Micha …   Wikipedia

  • James Arbuthnot — Infobox MP honorific prefix = name = James Arbuthnot honorific suffix = MP office = Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions term start = 6 November 2003 term end = 6 May 2005 leader = Michael Howard …   Wikipedia

  • Dalrymple Arbuthnot — Sir Dalrymple Arbuthnot, 5th Bt Born 1 April 1867 …   Wikipedia

  • Sir Dalrymple Arbuthnot, 5th Baronet — Infobox Military Person name=Sir Dalrymple Arbuthnot, 5th Bt lived=1 April 1867 ndash;31 March 1941 caption= allegiance=United Kingdom rank=Brigadier General unit=Royal Artillery placeofbirth= placeofdeath= serviceyears= laterwork= battles=… …   Wikipedia

  • John Arbuthnot Fisher — John Arbuthnot Jackie Fisher GCB, OM, GCVO, né le 25 janvier 1841 à Ceylan et mort le 10 juillet 1920, 1er baron Fisher, fut un amiral de la flotte britannique connu pour ses efforts pour réformer la fo …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gary Arbuthnot — Gareth Gary Bernard Arbuthnot (born 6 September 1972 in Northern Ireland) is a world class flautist who studied with Colin Fleming and then at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Sebastian Bell and Michael Cox, at McGill University in… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty — This is a list of Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty (incomplete before the Restoration, 1660). The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, were the members of the Board of Admiralty, which exercised the office of Lord High Admiral when it was… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”