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The Book and the Film

A Memoir by Nic Flemming

“My heart pounded with excitement. This is what I had come to find, the cliffs and caves from thousands of years ago buried in a tomb of  seawater.”



This memoir describes exciting events of historical significance in underwater archaeology and planetary ocean modelling during the last 60 years.


It provides an informal and entertaining one-stop introduction to a range of marine research topics and to people who work under the sea by diving and in submersibles.

​Dr Nic Flemming has made major discoveries in the archaeology of ancient port cities and global sea level change, submerged caves and Ice Age glacial sea level control, also the mapping and excavation of submerged prehistoric settlements that were occupied during Ice Age low sea levels.

View publisher's display of the book

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The Film

This original footage from the first expedition to Apollonia has recently been restored and contains some of the only existing documentation of the ruins as they stood in 1958.

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All the maps produced on the expedition to Apollonia are described in detail and downloadable here.

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Dr. Flemming has published over 300 articles relating to subsea prehistoric archaeology, submerged Quaternary landscapes, Mediterranean sea level change evidenced by archaeology, diving technology and diving safety codes for use in research institutes, marine technology policy, international law and marine research, research submersibles, marine data management, operational oceanography, ocean forecasting policies, economics of marine research and marine data, Global Ocean Observing System, and its European component.

Almost 200 of these publications can be found in full at Research Gate.

Click here for Full Biography

Academic Research
About the Author

Nic Flemming has explored and researched under the sea for more than 60 years.


He learned to dive in 1956 using oxygen breathing equipment in the Royal Marines Special Boat Service, and this started a lifelong fascination with the sea, and especially natural events and forces that change under the sea.


The biology of marine life depends on complicated non-biological processes driven by the currents and tides, solar heating, wind, chemical nutrients, volcanoes, upwelling, cold water downward plumes, and, on a longer timescale, sea level change, climate change, glaciations and continental drift.

Nic’s research has focused on long-term changes in the world ocean, especially those that can be measured by observation of submerged and uplifted coastal cities and measurements in submerged caves from the time of the Ice Ages.

Nic is married to Jay Kleinberg, and they have two children, Kirsten and Peter, and one grandchild, Lucio.


He enjoys travel, extremes of climate, wild places, painting and drawing in ink, reading mostly non-fiction now, but novels when he was younger. Family life for an explorer sometimes means traveling alone, sometimes all together.


The children soon learned how to measure things in the sea. It became a family saying, even on holiday, that “There is a lot of geology about.”


A traffic accident near Belgrade in 1969 broke Nic’s spinal cord, and he is paralysed from the chest down.


He learned to dive with scuba again while recovering in hospital, and continued to dive at sea until 2012, when he made his last open water dive on a Bronze Age tomb submerged near Syracuse in Sicily.


Most of his research now consists of review articles, and supporting younger teams of divers.

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