The Hellenic Institute of Marine Archaeology (H.I.M.A.) was founded in August 1973 by Nikos Tsouchlos, Peter Throckmorton, George Papathanasopoulos, Charalabos Kritzas and other friends of maritime archaeology. HIMA is a private non-profit scientific body, which aims to conduct and promote underwater archaeological research in Greece, in tandem with the difficult task undertaken by the Hellenic Archaeological Service. From 1973 to 1976, when the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities was founded, HIMA acted as an official consultant of the Ministry of Culture in matters regarding underwater archaeology.
In its 49 years of activity, the Institute has been financially supported by significant organizations in Greece and abroad, and has managed several grants by European research programs, state bodies, private non-profit foundations, companies and individuals. These are achievements mainly due to the important scientific work undertaken by the Institute, its organizational adequacy, the advanced professional qualifications of its members who work on a voluntary basis, and the awareness to share publically the results of its efforts.
In addition to its approximately 500 regular members currently in Greece, leading foreign scientists and researchers in the field of maritime and nautical archaeology are also corresponding members of the Institute. The lack of university education in maritime archaeology in Greece, until recently, made HIMA the principal source of support nationally for training young researchers in the field. Through field surveys, educational programs and seminars/conferences organized by HIMA, more than 150 archaeologists, scientists from various disciplines and technical experts in maritime and nautical archaeology have been trained.
Aiming at scientific documentation and outreach to both the scientific community and the public, HIMA has been publishing since 1989 the journal ENALIA, the only scientific journal specialized in maritime archaeology in Greece, and among the few worldwide. In addition, the Institute has organized exhibitions and events to raise public awareness on the promotion and protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. The Institute keeps a significant archive of photos and accommodates a special library with approximately 3.500 titles of books and journals.