The website of Dr. Mark Holley, Underwater Archaeologist

markonshoreDr. Mark Holley on the shore of Lake Michigan


Developing Research - Lake Michigan Stonehenge?


General Information

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Mark Holley is from Ovid, a small village in central Michigan which contains more cattle than people. At the tender age of eight he saw a movie entitled Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark and decided that archaeology was the life for him. In 1991 he received a B.A. from the University of Michigan and, shortly thereafter, moved from the USA and successfully completed a Ph.D. in Underwater Archaeology at Edinburgh University.

Dr. Holley received a B.G.S. degree from the University of Michigan in 1991 and a Ph.D. in Underwater Archaeology from the University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom) in 1998. His Ph.D. thesis involved the high resolution field survey of prehistoric underwater artificial islet sites located on remote islands off the west coast of Scotland. Dr. Holley has twenty years of field experience in the survey of underwater prehistoric sites, and has been principal investigator for several surveys of underwater sites in Scotland, Ireland, Greece and the United States. He has worked on field projects for: Leister, Leeds, Cornell, Michigan State, Michigan Tech, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities.

Dr. Holley has participated in underwater archaeology and cultural resource management projects in Michigan since 1995. These projects have included prediction of prehistoric sites in Saginaw Bay, the archaeological survey of Fayette Harbor, the archaeological survey of the historic shipwreck “New Orleans” and development of an archaeological survey plan for historic shipwrecks of both Thunder Bay and Grand Traverse Bay (in northern Michigan).

Dr. Holley is trained as an operational/scientific diver, is a member of the Council for British Archaeology, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Fellow of the Royal Archaeological Institute and Member of the Archaeology Institute. In 2000 Dr. Holley was awarded a medal of scientific merit for the archaeological survey of Loch Awe (Scotland) by HRH Duke of Edinburgh. Dr. Holley is a senior instructor for the Nautical Archaeology Society. 

Dr. Holley teaches cultural anthropology and underwater archaeology at Northwestern Michigan College and is the chief archaeologist of Grand Traverse Bay Underwater Preserve. His specialty is the survey of submerged archaeological sites and he has completed projects in Lake Michigan, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Greece.

Dr. Holley is NMC’S Imogene Wise Faculty Excellence Award winner for 2011.