David Gibbins

David Gibbins, FRSA, FRGS (born 1962) is an underwater archaeologist and a bestselling novelist.

David Gibbins
Born1962 (age 5657)
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
OccupationNovelist, archaeologist
NationalityBritish and Canadian
EducationUniversity of Bristol (B.A.)
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (Ph.D.)
Genrearchaeological and historical fiction
Childrenone daughter

Early life

Gibbins was born in 1962 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, to British parents who were both academic scientists. He travelled around the world with them by sea as a boy, including four years living in New Zealand, before returning to England and Canada. He attended the University of Bristol, England, where he was awarded a First Class Honours Degree in ancient Mediterranean studies. He then went to Cambridge University as a research scholar of Corpus Christi College, where he completed a PhD in archaeology in 1990.

Gibbins learned to scuba dive at the age of 15 in Canada, and dived under ice, on shipwrecks and in caves while he was still at school.


Academic career

After holding a research fellowship at the University of Cambridge, he spent most of the 1990s as a lecturer in the School of Archaeology, Classics and Oriental Studies at the University of Liverpool before devoting himself full-time to writing and fieldwork.

He has led several underwater archaeology expeditions in the Mediterranean Sea, including five seasons excavating ancient Roman shipwrecks off Sicily and a survey of the submerged harbour of ancient Carthage. In 1999–2000 he was part of an international team excavating a 5th-century BC shipwreck off Turkey, when he was an adjunct professor of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology. His publications on ancient shipwreck sites have appeared in scientific journals, books and popular magazines. Most recently his travels have taken him to the Arctic Ocean, to Mesoamerica, to the Great Lakes in Canada and to the waters off south-west England.

In 2016 he and other recreational divers off Cornwall in England rediscovered the wreck of the Schiedam, a ship involved in the evacuation of English Tangier in 1684 and associated with Samuel Pepys. The discovery was reported in the media, including the BBC.[1]


On leaving academia he became a novelist, writing archaeological thrillers derived from his own background. His novels have sold over three million copies and have been London Sunday Times and New York Times bestsellers. His first novel, Atlantis, published in the UK in 2005 and the US in September 2006, has been published in 30 languages; since then he has written ten further novels, published in more than 200 editions internationally. His main series is based on the fictional maritime archaeologist Jack Howard and his team, and forms contemporary thrillers involving a plausible archaeological backdrop. He has also written two historical novels set in ancient Rome.

He divides his time between fieldwork, a farm in Canada where he writes, and England. He has a daughter, whose mother is the philosopher and broadcaster Angie Hobbs. He is descended from 17th-century Massachusetts Puritan Reformist John Cotton, is related to the 19th-century historian Henry de Beltgens Gibbins and is great-great-nephew of Brigadier Henry John Gordon Gale, DSO and Bar.


Among his awards Gibbins is a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow, for which he received the Churchill Medallion of the Trust. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Select bibliography


Jack Howard series

  1. Gibbins, David. 2005. Atlantis. London: Headline and New York: Bantam Dell. ISBN 978-0-7553-2422-4
  2. Gibbins, David. 2006. Crusader Gold. London: Headline and New York: Bantam Dell. ISBN 978-0-7553-2927-4
  3. Gibbins, David. 2008. The Last Gospel. (The Lost Tomb in US). London: Headline and New York: Bantam Dell. ISBN 978-0-7553-3514-5
  4. Gibbins, David. 2009. The Tiger Warrior. London: Headline and New York: Bantam Dell. ISBN 978-0-553-59125-5
  5. Gibbins, David. 2010. The Mask of Troy. London: Headline and New York: Bantam Dell. ISBN 978-0-7553-5395-8
  6. Gibbins, David. 2011. The Gods of Atlantis. (Atlantis God in US). London: Headline and New York: Bantam Dell (2012). ISBN 978-0-7553-5398-9
  7. Gibbins, David. 2013. Pharaoh. London: Headline and New York: Bantam Dell. ISBN 978-0-755-35403-0
  8. Gibbins, David. 2014. Pyramid. London: Headline and New York: Bantam Dell. ISBN 978-0-755-35406-1
  9. Gibbins, David. 2016. Testament. London: Headline and New York: Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 978-1-4722-3019-5
  10. Gibbins, David. 2018. Inquisition. London: Headline and New York: Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 978-1-2500-8064-6

Total War Rome series

  1. Gibbins, David. 2013. Destroy Carthage. London: Macmillan and New York: Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 978-0-2307-7094-2
  2. Gibbins, David. 2015. The Sword of Attila. London: Macmillan and New York: Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 978-1-250-03895-1


  • Gibbins, David, 1988. "Surgical instruments from a Roman shipwreck off Sicily." Antiquity 62 (235), pp. 294–7.
  • Edge, C.J. & Gibbins, D.J. 1989. "Underwater discovery of Roman surgical instruments", Brit. Med. J. 298, pp. 1645-6.
  • Gibbins, David. 1990. "The hidden museums of the Mediterranean." New Scientist 128 (1739), pp. 35–40.
  • Gibbins, David and Christopher Chippindale(eds), 1990. "Maritime archaeology." Antiquity 64 (243), pp. 334–400.
  • Gibbins, David, 1990. "Analytical approaches in maritime archaeology: a Mediterranean perspective". Antiquity 64 (243), pp. 376–389.
  • Gibbins, David and Christopher Chippindale, 1990. "Heritage at sea: proposals for the better protection of British archaeological sites underwater". Antiquity 64 (243), pp. 390–400.
  • Gibbins, David. 1993. "Bronze Age wreck's revelations." Illustrated London News 281 (7116), pp. 72–3.
  • Gibbins, David, 1993. "Das im Mittelmeer verborgene Museum." Mannheimer Forum 92/93. Ein Panorama der Naturwissen schaften. Mannheim: Boehringer Mannheim, pp. 175–243.
  • Gibbins, David, 1995. "What shipwrecks can tell us." Antiquity 69:263, pp. 408–411.
  • Gibbins, David J.L., Mike M. Emery and Keith J. Mathews, 1996. The Archaeology of an Ecclesiastical Landscape. Chester Archaeology Excavation and Survey Report No. 9. Chester City Council/The University of Liverpool. ISBN 978-1-872587-09-7
  • Gibbins, David, 1997. "Deleta est Carthago?" Antiquity 71 (271), pp. 217–219.
  • Gibbins, David. 1998. "Maritime archaeology". in Shaw, I. and R. Jameson (eds) Dictionary of Archaeology. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-17423-3
  • Gibbins, David. 2000. "Classical shipwreck excavation at Tektas Burnu, Turkey." Antiquity 74:283, pp. 199–201.
  • Gibbins, David. 2001. "Shipwrecks and Hellenistic trade." in Zofia H. Archibald et al. (eds.), Hellenistic Economies. London/New York: Routledge, pp. 273–312. ISBN 978-0-415-23466-5
  • Gibbins, David and Jonathan Adams (eds), 2001. Shipwrecks. World Archaeology 32.3. London: Routledge. ISSN 0043-8243
  • Gibbins, David and Jonathan Adams, 2001. "Shipwrecks and maritime archaeology." World Archaeology, 32:3, pp. 279–291.
  • Gibbins, David. 2001. "A Roman shipwreck of c. AD 200 at Plemmirio, Sicily: evidence for north African amphora production during the Severan period." World Archaeology 32.3, pp. 311–334.

See also



  • Sue Fox, 'Best of Times, Worst of Times: David Gibbins', London Sunday Times, December 4, 2005 .
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