EXPERIENCE

SirenYoga

09 / 2017 - Present

Founder & Yoga Instructor

  • Breathe, Train & Zen like a Mermaid- SirenYoga is the world's only fully submerged wellness program that uses a surface-air-supply system to practice underwater yoga- the closest you will get to feeling like a real mermaid- all the while breathing and benefiting from your yoga practice!

ARCHAEOVENTURERS

05 / 2014 - Present

Cofounder & Creator

  • The ArchaeoVenturers Project is a web-based creative platform to bring the field sciences and global issues to the public through educational multimedia. www.ArchaeoVenturers.com                                                                                                                                                                                             

DIVING WITH A PURPOSE

10 / 2012 - Present

Principal Archaeologist of DWP Research Team; Project Evaluator, Instructor and Mentor for Youth DWP

  • Diving With a Purpose is a maritime archaeological advocacy course constructed to supply the lay-diver with knowledge to become underwater advocates for conservation and preservation through the pursuit of maritime archaeology. Both adult and youth work in the Florida National Parks.
  • For the past three years, YDWP has accepted high school students from around the USA and Africa for our maritime archaeology program. The development of our youth component is a way for DWP to inspire the next generation of youth divers and give them professional skills for their higher education and career goals. It is supported by private donation, PADI, NPS Submerged Resources Center, and the Slave Wrecks Project. -2014 Recipient of "Preserve America Steward" Award by United States of America Preserve America -2015 Recipient of "Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation" by Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

SLAVE WRECKS PROJECT

01 / 2010 - Present

Maritime Archaeologist, Associate Researcher, Project Manager, and Outreach Coordinator

  • Archival and collections research on 17-19th century slave shipwrecks for international collaborative project between Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, The George Washington University Capital Archaeological Institute, National Park Service Submerged Resources Center, IZIKO Museums of South Africa, Diving With a Purpose, and the South African Heritage Resources Agency.
  • Research includes archival and library inquiries, microfilm and periodical analysis, examining historical archeological collections, and archaeological excavations on shipwrecks. Fieldwork participation shipwrecks in Florida, St. Croix, and South Africa as part of this project. -Co-Principal Investigator (PI) for Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units agreement between GWU and NPS.
  • Daily tasks include: Supervisor to three assistants, creating and monitoring project budgets, maintaining financials between all project sponsors, coordinating youth outreach approaches, grant writing, conference and summer institute development, museum outreach, data analysis, paleographic tasks, website and social media maintenance, virtual exhibit coordination, creating teaching and field-trip modules, writing press releases, and project liaison.
  • Conducted research at these institutions, among others: Smithsonian Institution Archives, National Archives and Records Administration, Library of Congress, IZIKO Musems of South Africa, the South African Heritage Resource Agency, New York Historical Society, United Kingdom National Archives, Archives at the Wedgwood Museum, International Slavery Museum Archives in Liverpool, National Library of Jamaica, and many University libraries

ANTIQUITIES COALITION

01 / 2014 - 06 / 2015

Maritime Research Analyst and Manager of Media Relations

Maritime Research Analyst and Manager of Media Relations - The Antiquities Coalition unites professionals from a diverse background joined in the fight against cultural racketeering – a global problem of antiquities looting. TAC started with the launch of the International Coalition to Protect Egyptian Antiquities (ICPEA). As a result of this transition, I work on monitoring and recording patterns of cultural racketeering in the developing world, currently Egypt, and working to create innovative solutions through the use of technology and interdisciplinary approaches. - Main focus is underwater cultural resources management development and directing media and data output.

SCIENCE VISUALIZATION

05 / 2011 - 05 / 2013

Researcher

  • Academic and media-based research for corporations, non-profits, museums, and individuals under the direction of Dr. Christina Elson.
  • Duties include creating compelling multi-platform initiatives for science communication projects, developing scripts for print & television, managing content for exhibits, assisting clients with grant and fundraising efforts, producing monthly archaeo-paleo report, developing content for literature, including textbooks, and creating science graphics and illustration.

AMERICAN CENTER FOR MONGOLIAN STUDIES

2010

Fellowship Award Recipient

  • Conducted archaeological research with Dr. J. Daniel Rogers in Eastern Mongolia to study the economic base of early pastoralist empires in Mongolia.
  • Duties included using GPS technology to locate ancient sites, studying the habits of local pastoralists, and recording evidence using traditional archaeological methods.

THE BRITISH MUSEUM

2010

Research Assistant

  • Researched historical materials pertaining to the site of Amara West in modern Sudan for Curator Dr. Neal Spencer.
  • Duties included digitally illustrating excavation materials and maps for publication using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, entering information into online databases, and researching ways to connect the modern Sudanese to their cultural heritage of ancient Nubia.

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY- SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

2009 - 2010

Curatorial Research Assistant

  • Assisted Curator Dr. J. Daniel Rogers with agent-based computer simulation modeling for Inner Asian pastoralist societies, as well as research projects concerning the rise and fall of early pastoralist states and empires.
  • Duties included archival and collections research, database entry, touring foreign officials and museum visitors, grant writing, simulation modeling development and implementation, conference presentations, publication editing, cataloguing, administrative tasks, and reinterpreting historical arguments pertaining to Inner Asia.

CITY OF ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA

2009

Shuter's Hill Archaeological Dig Volunteer

City of Alexandria Archaeology Director: Dr. Pamela Cressey, RPA

  • Participated on archaeological site at Shuter's Hill, where the focus was on the mid-1800's time period and the plantation. The goal of this project was to study the lives of slaves who are often not given a voice in the history books, by using the archaeological evidence to illuminate their activities.
  • Duties included excavation, sifting, identification, examining stratigraphy, cleaning and conserving artifacts, database entry.

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY- SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

2009

Research Assistant

  • Interned with Joanna Scherer, Emerita Anthropologist, to finalize publication of the Alice C. Fletcher manuscript, that highlights Fletcher’s anthropological work on the Sioux and Omaha Indians.
  • Duties focused on archival and historical photograph research, including journal transcription, and publication editing.

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY- SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

2008

Research Assistant

  • Interned with Dr. Stephen Loring, Arctic Anthropologist, to research the Charles Francis Hall ethnographic collection and archival materials.
  • Duties included archival research, with focus on journal transcription and interpreting ethnographic accounts, collections cataloguing, and publication editing.

BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY REVIEW

2008

Social Media and Web Specialist

  • Worked under Jonathan Laden, Circulation Director, to expand BAR’s Internet presence.
  • Duties included administrative tasks, formulating ideas to increase magazine circulation, updating customer information and mailing lists, and increasing BAR’s social media and news output.

AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

2008

Collections Management Intern

  • Interned for Paul Beelitz, Director of Collections, organizing inventory of existing South American ethnographic collections.
  • Duties included database entry, taking inventory, and re-shelving and temporary conservation of objects in collections.

GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

2008

Archaeological Lab Assistant

  • Completed computerized ceramic sketches and ink drawings for Oaxacan pottery for Dr. Jeffery Blomster, Assistant Professor of Anthropology.
  • Focused on sketching ceramic artifacts using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and hand inking original excavation drawings.

GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

2008

Instructional Teaching Assistant

“Introduction to Archaeology”

  • Collaborated on exam development with professor, Dr. Eric Cline, met with students upon request, and graded all exams and final papers.

TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY

2006

'The Megiddo Expedition' Archaeological Digger

  • Megiddo's history covers over six millennia and it is often considered the cradle of archaeology in Israel. The dig is co-sponsored by GWU and Tel Aviv University, and is co-directed by famed biblical archaeologists Dr. Finkelstein, Dr. Ussishkin, and Dr. Cline. There I became actively involved in not only the fieldwork (excavation, sifting, flotation, in situ recording, etc…), but in the behind-the-scenes aspects of the dig, which centered on the collections. I became familiar with field collections practices, including data entry, sorting methods, identification, and the beginnings of historical research.

EDUCATION

LEIDEN UNIVERSITY

2015 - ONGOING

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Candidate, Underwater Cultural Heritage Management

THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

2009 - 2010

Master of Arts , Anthropology, Museum Studies

THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

2005 - 2009

Bachelor of Arts , Archaeology, Classics, Religion

PUBLICATIONS

01 / 2017

Digital Archaeology: Telling the Stories of the Past Using Technology of the Future

Society for Historical Archaeology · Authors:  Justine M. Benanty, and Samuel Cuellar

01 / 2016

Diverse Threats to MAST and its Heritage in Africa: Confronting Historical Amnesia and Salvors; Securing Slim Resources and Social Relevance

Society for Historical Archaeology · Authors:  Jonathan Sharfman, Justine M. Benanty, and Ricardo Duarte

SPONSORED SYMPOSIUM: THE MARITIME ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE SLAVE TRADE: PERSPECTIVES, PROSPECTS, AND REPORTS FROM THE SLAVE WRECKS PROJECT

01 / 2016

Slave Wrecks Project: An Agenda, An Approach for the Maritime Archaeology of the Slave Trade

Society for Historical Archaeology · Authors: Stephen C. Lubkemann, Jaco Boshoff, David L. Conlin, David Morgan, Jonathan Sharfman, Christopher DeCorse, Ricardo T. Duarte, Yolanda P. Duarte, Justine Benanty, Michael Smith, Ibrahima Thiaw, Paul Gardullo, and Meredith Hardy

Diverse Threats to MAST and its Heritage in Africa: Confronting Historical Amnesia and Salvors; Securing Slim Resources and Social Relevance

Society for Historical Archaeology · Authors: Jonathan Sharfman, Justine M. Benanty, and Ricardo Duarte,

EXPLORING THE PAST: SALIMA IKRAM AND JUSTINE BENANTY

03 / 2015

BBC World Service: The Conversation podcast · Authors: Justine Benanty · http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02kmqsz

"You don't look like an archaeologist." An Egyptologist & a shipwreck diver dish the dirt on the job they both love. Salima Ikram is a professor at the American University in Cairo and Justine Benanty is a maritime archaeologist based in Washington DC.

Justine Benanty is a qualified pilot but as a maritime archaeologist her time is spent underwater rather than in the sky. At her first dig in Israel she realised that she hated wheelbarrows and got sunburnt too easily to work in the desert, so investigating shipwrecks became her focus. Her project for the last five years has been to tell the stories of the slaves, who were shipped across the Atlantic Ocean, through archaeology. It is a science which needs an image overhaul because, she says "there's nothing cooler than finding […] a shipwreck at the bottom of the sea that no-one has seen for hundreds of years". She is a co-founder of the ArchaeoVenturers project, a collection of videos and blogs about issues in history and science, which also celebrates women's work in these fields.

Salima Ikram was born in Pakistan and got hooked on ancient Egyptian artefacts through the pictures in a childhood book. Her fate as an Egyptologist was sealed when she came face-to-face, aged nine, with mesmerising statues in the Cairo museum; she decided then that finding out more about them would be her life's work. "Archaeologists are people who never grew up" she says. When not lecturing at the American University in Cairo, Salima will be somewhere dry, dusty, and dirty, recording ancient inscriptions or X-raying mummies - human and animal. Her role models in archaeology were women who had been working since the 1940s, but, she says sexism is still a problem and more so in the west than the east. The important thing, she says, "is to do what you want to do and do it very well."

01 / 2015 DIVING WITH A PURPOSE

Dig Into History (Kids Archaeology Magazine) · Authors: Justine Benanty

Article concerning year two of Youth Diving With a Purpose program, conducted in Biscayne National Park in summer of 2014.

PANEL: NOT JUST YOUR FATHER’S TREASURE HUNTER: CONFRONTING THE NEW TRANSNATIONAL TREASURE HUNTING INDUSTRY ON THE FRONTIER OF HISTORICAL AND MARITIME ARCHAEOLOGY

01 / 2015

Society for Historical Archaeology · Authors: Justine Benanty, Stephen Lubkemann, Filipe Castro, Ricardo Duarte, Yolanda Pinto,Alexandre Monteiro, George Schwarz, Jaco Boshoff, Jonathan Sharfman

Treasure hunting has always presented significant challenges to archaeologists who have worked in underwater and in maritime settings. These challenges include the material effects of treasure hunting on looted sites that destroy the forms of context that archeology relies upon to decipher the past; action in the legal and policy arenas that have often weakened the frameworks that protect maritime heritage, and the perpetuation of social myths that captivate the broader public imagination with tales of treasure and seek to conflate treasure hunting with legitimate archaeology. In this panel we will assess how maritime archaeologists are confronting these challenges as they begin to develop research in areas of the developing world in which little maritime archaeology has been done but in which treasure hunters are already active and in a sense already a step ahead of the archaeological community. Drawing on the experience of all of the panelists in confronting treasure hunting and promoting alternatives, the panel will seek to address the following questions and issues: • What different types of “treasure-hunter” are making their appearance in these settings –ranging from the casual diver who loots, to industrial firms that have a transnational presence and organize their interventions at the political and policy as well as the technical level. • What tactics are these actors utilizing to garner legitimacy, gain official endorsement, and carry out their activities? • To what extent must/should archaeologists engage with a broader set of questions and actors—including policy-makers, questions of economic development, and public education–in order to successfully confront the treasure hunting challenge; and as a pre-condition for conducting archaeology • What tools and mechanisms does the maritime archaeology community need to develop to effectively counter this threat and in order to support the development of sound maritime archaeology in the developing world?

“SPOILED SUBMERGED SITES” OR “JUST ANOTHER C-FILTER”? ACCOUNTING FOR RECENT HUMAN IMPACT IN THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF BISC-2

01 / 2013

Society for Historical Archaeology 46th Annual Conference · Authors: Dr. David Morgan, Dr. Stephen Lubkemann, Charles Lawson, Dr. David Conlin, Andres Diaz, Justine Benanty

BISC-2 represents a type of site that is all too familiar to maritime archaeologists: one subject to extensive recent post-deposition disturbance as a result of different forms of destructive human intervention. Too often such sites are dismissed as too “spoiled” to provide reliable insight into the past. We suggest that while regrettable, such recent interventions should not lead us to dismiss such sites as archaeologically irrelevant. Instead they should be addressed through archaeological techniques that identify the effects of all forms of human behavior in the process of site transformation over time. Techniques that should be brought to bear are comparable to those applied in analyzing the record of human activity on any archaeological site, involving challenges similar to those confronted in theory and practice in other archaeological contexts. Our analysis juxtaposes our recent archaeological documentation of BISc-2 with an ongoing review of the known human intervention on this site.

(SHIP) WRECKS, (HISTORIC) WRECKERS, AND (CONTEMPORARY) RANSACKERS: ARCHAEOLOGY IN THE ASSESSMENT OF HUMAN IMPACT ON BISCAYNE’S MARITIME CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

02 / 2013

Biscayne National Park Symposium · Authors: Dr. Stephen Lubkemann, Justine Benanty

"Biscayne’s “English China (Bisc-002) shipwreck represents a type of submerged cultural site that is all too familiar to maritime archaeologists: one that has been subject to extensive post‐deposition disturbance as a result of different forms of historic and contemporary human intervention. These interventions include historic salvage by the wrecker communities that were amongst the first to colonize the Florida keys,fishing and lobstering, contemporary looting by relic hunting divers, and repeated resource assessments of varying intensity and quality). Too often sites like Bisc-2 and many other of Biscayne’s submerged cultural sites are dismissed as too “spoiled” by such activities to provide reliable or useful insight into past historical activities and cultural processes. In this paper we suggest that while recent interventions in particular are regrettable they should not lead us to dismiss such sites as archaeologically irrelevant. Instead they should be addressed through archaeological techniques that aim to identify the effects of systematic patterns of all and every different form of human behavior in the process of site formation and transformation over time. Moreover, from this perspective the underwater shipwrecks in Biscayne offer an opportunity for the archaeological documentation of one of the most important and formative economic practices for coastal communities—that of wrecking and salvage itself. In this presentation we discuss the methodological approaches we have been developing for studying historic and contemporary human impacts on the Bisc 2 shipwreck site, while outlining a broader future research strategy for studying wrecking as a cultural and economic practice of historic significance–and that has cultural and natural impacts‐through a broader comparative study of shipwrecks within Biscayne National Park. This approach may also potential for inform studies of transformation of the natural landscape and human impact on natural resources."

THE BISC 2 CARGO (PART I)--CONTRIBUTIONS AND QUESTIONS FROM CERAMICS ANALYSIS: LATE 18TH CENTURY SEQUENCING AND COLONIAL TRADE PATTERNS

01 / 2013

Society for Historical Archaeology 46th Annual Conference · Authors: Charles Lawson, Dr. Stephen Lubkemann, Dr. David Morgan, Jaco Boshoff, Justine Benanty, Sean H. Reid

The BISC-2 site uniquely contains thousands of fragments of late 18th century English ceramics dating from the period of transition from stone-glazed salt ware to cream ware, including hundreds of examples of both of these manufactured types that share decorative patterning. The fact that this assemblage (arguably one of the largest of late 18th century ceramics located to date in North America) was created through a wrecking event that occurred quite literally as a single instance in time offers a unique opportunity to use both distribution and comparative form analysis to test and recalibrate current accepted sequencing for these ceramics in the Americas—which could have broader implications for informing North American and Atlantic historical archaeology of the late 18th century. This paper presents an initial analysis of these ceramics cast against our ongoing archival work aimed at identifying the specific vessel that came to grief as BISC-2.

ARCHAEOLOGICALLY ASSEMBLING THE FULL PICTURE OF THE POLITICAL-ECONOMY OF LATE 18TH CENTURY COLONIAL TRADE RELATIONS ON THE MARGINS OF EMPIRE FROM THE BISC-2 SHIPWRECK SITE

01 / 2013

Society for Historical Archaeology 46th Annual Conference · Authors: Dr. Stephen Lubkemann, Charles Lawson, Justine Benanty, Tara Van Niekerk, Dr. David Morgan, Sean H. Reid, Dr. David Conlin, John Bright

This paper will provide provisional conclusions drawn from the analysis of all our data within a particular methodological framework while identifying critical gaps that remain. We will first discuss how the BISC-2 site may provide new insights into the political-economy of trade at the permeable boarder of British and Spanish spheres of competing influence; and into the relationship between imperial centers and their often non-compliant peripheries. Finally, BISC-2 suggests a rethinking of broader archaeological approaches to shipwrecks – and new understandings of their relevance to terrestrial archaeology, namely: as sites that paradigmatically embody “process” in two senses: 1) as locations in which repeated human intervention introduces methodological challenges without nullifying the potential of these sites to speak meaningfully and robustly to the past; and 2) as sites that require team-based collaborative models in order to understand what are in essence moments of arrested social,economic, and political interaction.

THE BISC 2 CARGO PART II--PRESTIGE CARGO OR EVIDENCE OF COLONIAL DUMPING? AN EXPLORATION OF WHAT KEY ITEMS IN BISC 2'S CARGO OF CERAMICS MAY SAY ABOUT CENTER/PERIPHERY TRADE RELATIONS IN THE LATE NORTH AMERICAN BRITISH EMPIRE

01 / 2013

Society for Historical Archaeology 46th Annual Conference · Authors: Justine Benanty, Charles Lawson, Dr. Stephen Lubkemann, Jaco Boshoff, Dr. David Morgan

This paper will focus on what a set of very specific items documented in the BISC-2 cargo may indicate about relations between the British imperial center and amongst various levels of its periphery–including Jamaica and North America–during the last third of the 18th century. We will focus in particular on: 1) a coloration pattern that is ubiquitous on the site that has been documented as having a limited production life and as destined for dumping in a colonial market considered less sophisticated in its tastes by Wedgwood; and 2) on a series of figurines that have been generally documented in a glazed condition but were all found unglazed on BISC-2.

AGENT-BASED MODELING OF INNER ASIAN PASTORALISTS IN A HISTORICAL LANDSCAPE

04 / 2010

Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting 2010 · Authors: Dr. J. Daniel Rogers, Dr. C. Cioffi-Revilla, Justine Benanty, Sara Wise

Pastoralism is a complex adaptive system that has existed in Inner Asia for thousands of years and continues today as a major way of life for millions of people. Contemporary environmental challenges highlight the need to assess the potential for long-term sustainability while also considering systems with the potential to maintain resilience. In recent years the interdisciplinary field of computational social science has developed theory and research for emerging spatial "agent-based" social simulation models of human societies that incorporate ecosystem dynamics on realistic landscapes. Taking the Bronze Age (1500-500 B.C.E.) as a starting point, these models explore the dynamics of social and demographic interactions between landscape and weather variability for pastoralists in Inner Asia at multiple social and temporal scales ranging from the interactions of families during the course of days to the emergence of clans and confederations at the scale of decades to hundreds of years. The models are developed using MASON (Multi-Agent Simulator Of Networks and Neighborhoods), a simulation environment in the Java language suitable for agent-based models with GIS for representing spatial features. Results from initial experiments show the emergence of clan territories and wealth differentials. Rapid demographic changes are also noted as a consequence of winter storms and summer droughts. These outcomes are not well matched with current sustainability practices. Observations from archaeological field research provide the clues needed for developing strategies, such as maintenance of mobility, as suggested by the simulation results.

LANGUAGES

  • English: Native Language
  • Spanish: Level 1
  • French: Level 1
  • Italian: Level 2
  • Latin: Level 2

CERTIFICATIONS

Yoga Alliance 200 hour REGISTERED YOGA TEACHER 01 / 2018

PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) MASTER SCUBA DIVER 09 / 2015

SOLO PRIVATE PILOT LICENSE 2005