This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) This biographical article is written like a résumé. Please help improve it by revising it to be neutral and encyclopedic. (June 2019) This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately from the article and its talk page, especially if potentially libelous.Find sources: "David Gibbins" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (June 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this message) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
David Gibbins
Born1962 (age 61–62)
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
OccupationNovelist, archaeologist
NationalityBritish and Canadian
EducationUniversity of Bristol (B.A.)
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (Ph.D.)
Genrearchaeological and historical fiction
Childrenone daughter

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

Early life

Gibbins was born in 1962 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, to British parents who were academic scientists. He is related to the Victorian historian Henry de Beltgens Gibbins and to Brigadier Henry John Gordon Gale, DSO and Bar. After growing up in Canada, New Zealand and England he attended the University of Bristol, where he was awarded a First Class Honours Degree in Ancient Mediterranean Studies. He spent part of 1984 in Turkey funded by a Travel Scholarship from the British Institute of Archaeology in Ankara. In 1984 he was awarded a Research Scholarship by Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge, where he completed a PhD in archaeology in 1991.

He qualified as a scuba diver in Canada at the age of 15, and since then has dived extensively around the world.[1]


Academic career

From 1991 to 1993 he held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Cambridge from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. From 1993 to 2000 he was a lecturer in the School of Archaeology, Classics and Oriental Studies at the University of Liverpool, and from 1999 to 2001 he was an Adjunct Professor of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology.[2] During the 1980s and 1990s he led many expeditions to investigate ancient shipwrecks and submerged ruins in the Mediterranean, including Roman shipwrecks off Sicily and the harbour of ancient Carthage. In 1999–2000 he was part of an international team excavating a 5th-century BC shipwreck off Turkey. His publications on ancient shipwreck sites have appeared in scientific journals, books and popular magazines.

Since 2002 he had been a full-time writer and independent scholar. In 2015 he co-founded the research group Cornwall Maritime Archaeology, which has made numerous shipwreck discoveries off south-west England. In 2016 he rediscovered the wreck of the Schiedam, a ship involved in the evacuation of English Tangier in 1684 and associated with Samuel Pepys,[3] and in 2018 the site of the President, an English East Indiaman.[4] In 2019 on another wreck he discovered a unique 16th century copper-alloy statuette of the crucified Christ attributable to Guglielmo della Porta.[5]


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 2006, was published in 30 languages. Since then he has written ten further novels which have been 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 novels involving an archaeological backdrop. He has also written two historical novels set in ancient Rome.


He 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