Posts Tagged ‘Archaeology’

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University of Rhode Island 2015 Summer Field School in Maritime Archaeology

March 16, 2015
Student at work in Bermuda.

Student at work in the University of Rhode Island Bermuda field school.

The 2015 Field School in Maritime Archaeology is an ongoing research expedition conducted in Bermuda by faculty of the University of Rhode Island. Participants come from the University of Rhode Island and from other colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada. The field school is a research-based learning experience that exposes students to a variety of activities including archival research, artifact conservation, archaeological survey, and underwater excavation and documentation of historic shipwrecks.

The field school will be conducted in the three-week period from July 20 to August 8, 2015. Students will receive 3-6 undergraduate or graduate credits in history. The field school meets many of the fieldwork requirements for anthropology and archaeology majors at universities in the United States and beyond. Professors Rod Mather and James M. Allan of the University of Rhode Island History Department are the program directors. Dr. Allan and Dr. Mather have extensive experience in underwater archaeological field methods, remote sensing, archival research, and scientific diving.

Course enrollment is limited. There are no academic prerequisites, but all participants in the field school must be scuba divers certified to at least the Open Water level, and all must be at least Scientific Divers-in- Training as specified in the American Academy of Underwater Sciences’ (AAUS) Diving Safety Manual. Contact Dr. Mather or Dr. Allan to discuss how the latter training may be obtained prior to the start of the field school. Students must have their own diving equipment (tanks and weights will be provided).

Students learning survey techniques in Bermuda.

Students learning survey techniques in Bermuda.

While in Bermuda, students will participate in each of three research modules: laboratory training in the museum’s conservation facility, archaeological survey and documentation of historic shipwrecks, and archival research in the Bermuda National Archives, located in the nearby city of Hamilton. Students selecting the 3- credit option will be required to keep a field journal containing details of each day’s research activities, instruction, and procedures. Journals will be submitted for evaluation at the end of the field school. Students will also be required to prepare and submit a scaled plan of the shipwreck site that we will be documenting, and will participate in preparing a collaborative report on the field school that will be submitted for publication in MariTimes, the magazine of the National Museum of Bermuda. Students selecting a 6-credit option will be required to complete all activities for the 3-credit option plus a research paper using materials presented in the course reader, supplementary readings available in the National Museum of Bermuda’s library, or from primary documents available in the Bermuda National Archives. In addition, while in Bermuda students will attend periodic evening lectures on such topics as ship construction, archaeological theory and methodology, archival research methods, archaeological survey methods (magnetometer and visual survey), site excavation and mapping, analysis of archaeological data, and the conservation of waterlogged artifacts.

The course fee is $3,500, all-inclusive, except airfare. Full course credit. For additional information contact Dr. Mather (RodMather@uri.edu) (401-874-4093) or Dr. Allan (jallan@stmarys-ca.edu) (925-253-9070). Application form and additional information are available on the field school website at http://www.uri.edu/international/bermuda.

For information on the research diving requirements contact URI’s Diving Safety Officer Anya Hanson <anyahanson@uri.edu.

Student working with instructor Dr. James Allan in Bermuda.

Student working with instructor Dr. James Allan in Bermuda.

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Underwater Corrosion Testing of the Holland 5 – H.M. Submarine No. 5 By David Crosthwaite-Eyre

December 27, 2012
Diver using a Cygnus Instruments ultrasonic thickness gauge.

Diver using a Cygnus Instruments ultrasonic thickness gauge.

In 1900 the Royal Navy signed a contract to build five ‘Holland’ class submarines. Entering service in 1903, these experimental boats were the Royal Navy’s first submarines, and over the next decade proved the value of the submarine as a weapon of war.

Developments in technology rendered the ‘Hollands’ obsolete and they were either sold for scrap or destined to be used for gunnery practice. HM Submarine No. 5 (the ‘Holland 5’) was en route to a naval yard when it slipped its tow and sunk in 1912. It lay undiscovered off the English south coast until accidentally found in 1995. Now protected by law, it has remained undisturbed on the seabed for almost a century.

In 2010 a Masters student from the School of Applied Sciences at Cranfield University and keen recreational diver, Duncan Harwood, decided to make the Holland 5 the subject of his dissertation.  More specifically, he wished to examine the rate of corrosion suffered by the wreck, and to consider the mechanisms and factors which may have affected that rate of corrosion.

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SHA Tech Week: Underwater and Public Archaeology

September 18, 2012

It’s Tech Week for the SHA blog about underwater and public archaeology.  We’re very pleased to be a part of this with the lead off article. You can read all posts here:  http://www.sha.org/blog/index.php/category/technology/

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Asia-Pacific Regional Conference Interview with Dr. Emad Khalil

September 6, 2011

The folks at the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage have sent out their September press release.  This month’s release contains an interview with Dr. Emad Khalil, Director of the Center for Maritime Archaeology and Underwater Cultural Heritage in Alexandria Egypt.  You can read the interview here.

For more information on the upcoming conference in Manila please visit their website at: http://www.apconf.org

Thank you to Mark Staniforth and Emily Jateff for sending this in to the Underwater Blogger.

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Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage in Peru – By Carlos E. Ausejo

August 16, 2011

The Peruvian Centre for Maritime and Underwater Archaeology (CPAMS) was started at the end of 2010 and is currently made up of four founding members and an associate researcher. We intend to form a multidisciplinary team although at present we are still only archaeologists. The aim of the CPAMS is to promote scientific archaeological research in underwater maritime environments, rivers and lakes, their interaction areas on land as well as the impact that the maritime landscape has on society’s development over time. We seek to disseminate information on, protect, preserve, and conserve our natural and archaeological heritage that is distributed over the 2250km of the Pacific coastline, rivers, coastal and highland lakes and make it valued, by way of organizing educational programs for archaeologists as well as workshops on social development and awareness.

The importance of maritime and underwater archaeology in Peru lies in the extraordinary state of preservation of the materials which allows access to information not previously recorded (in the case of pre-Hispanic findings) as well as by contrasting findings with written sources. (Colonial and Republican era) Read the rest of this entry ?

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Avocationals Supporting the Profession – By Dave Howe

January 18, 2011

Editor’s note:

2010 was a great year for the Guest Blogger series which we capped off by publishing the Guest Blogger Anthology (available for free download off the MUA homepage).  We are very happy to kick off the 2011 Guest Blogger series by reaching out to a valuable partner in the field of underwater archaeology.  We’ve  invited Dave Howe to write about avocational involvement in underwater surveys and how trained volunteers can support professional archaeological endeavors.

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Dave HoweAvocationals can provide free, useful and valuable labor on field projects or on other work in direct support of projects.  Although not trained to professional standards in archaeology, avocationals can bring a number of related or supplemental skills, including diving, boat handling, data management, equipment maintenance, forensics, and more.  They also can assist in publication and outreach.  The MUA hosts a number of posts from avocational groups.

For instance trained volunteer groups can conduct independent reconnaissance and assessment for State Historic Preservation Offices.  For example, during 2010 the Institute of Maritime History (IMH) mapped and reported ten sites to the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT), continued searching for two Revolutionary War warships for MHT, and began the first known underwater survey at Mount Vernon, finding two definite wrecks, two probable wrecks, and other cultural features not yet mapped.  In February and March 2011 we will map those sites and continue searching for others.  This project is for the benefit of Mount Vernon, MHT, and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR).

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Deepwater Archaeology in Oil and Gas – By Kimberly L. Faulk (née Eslinger)

December 14, 2010

Kim FaulkThe unfortunate events leading up to and following the Macondo well blowout, and the loss of eleven lives in April have focused international attention on the domestic oil and gas industry in the United States for the first time since the Exxon Valdez oil spill on March 24, 1989.  In the 21 years since the Exxon Valdez disaster archaeologists have become more sophisticated in reacting to environmental and archaeological emergencies and in sharing that information with their colleagues.  For the relatively small number of us who work in the oil and gas industry as underwater archaeologists the impact of the recent spill will be on our minds for years to come.  Those of us who work offshore are highly aware of the innate dangers that surround offshore surveys, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) operations, drilling operations, and infrastructure installation.  I was offshore the day Macondo exploded and for those of us on the boat, our first concern was whether there was anything we could do to assist.  Our second concern that day and the one we didn’t want to voice was whether we knew anyone aboard Deepwater Horizon.

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