Chris SoutherlyDeputy State Archaeologist - Underwater

Chris was born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia not far from the Flint Run (Thunderbird) Archaeological District which piqued his interest in archaeology at an early age. He did undergraduate work in biochemistry at Virginia Tech before earning his BS in anthropology/archaeology from James Madison University. Chris also did graduate work in historical archaeology at the College of William and Mary before moving to North Carolina to focus on underwater archaeology and complete his MA in maritime history from East Carolina University.

Chris has worked on terrestrial and underwater projects from prehistoric to modern times in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern United States and abroad through contract, research, and regulatory perspectives. He joined the Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB) as a staff archaeologist in 2000. Between 2003 and 2010, he supervised archaeological fieldwork and diving operations on the Queen Anne's Revenge (QAR) Shipwreck Project, including serving as lead instructor for the DiveDown program, teaching recreational divers about North Carolina’s underwater cultural heritage.

Chris became the Deputy State Archaeologist-Underwater in 2019, supervising professional staff responsible for the identification, inventory, evaluation, and management of terrestrial and submerged archaeological sites throughout the state, and curation of associated archaeological data and artifacts. He is a co-principle investigator for the QAR Shipwreck Project and the UAB diving safety officer managing the equipment, logistics, and training of the OSA scientific diving program. Chris is a trained scientific diver and teaches recreational diving and dive safety as a PADI Master Instructor and DAN Instructor-Trainer in his spare time.

910.251.7323  |  chris.southerly@ncdcr.gov