Archaeology related to the offshore energy exploration industry has changed significantly over the last 15 years. New regulations, technologies, and discoveries have impacted not only how archaeology related to offshore exploration conducted but also how it is perceived within the industry itself. Additionally, the nature of the exploration taking place in the Gulf of Mexico has affected archaeology. The shift from shallow continental shelf exploration to ever deeper regions of the Gulf of Mexico has taxed to archaeologists adapt to changing technologies used in deepwater exploration. The increasing discoveries in deepwater show that the past perceptions of these portions of the Gulf are mistaken and has forced archaeologists to re-examined the processes affecting shipwrecks in these regions. Numerous deepwater shipwreck discoveries have also led to increased interactions and cooperation between archaeologists and industry operators. These interactions have changed perceptions of both groups and are forming strong mutually beneficial relationships between those involved in exploration and those tasked with protecting our maritime heritage. This paper will discuss how archaeology within the industry has changed, what have been some of the most significant events influencing this change, how archaeologists are interacting with industry now versus the past, and what they perceive the future will bring for archaeologists working in this sector of the industry.

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