Report on 2006 season of the CUA Underwater Archaeological Field School
In 2004 under the center's leadership, the Black Sea Shipwrecks Research Project (BSSRP) was enacted to combine research and education projects as well as to survey for, investigate, and excavate shipwrecks along the northern coast of the Black Sea. Within the framework of the BSSR Project, the Centre has run the Field School in Sudak - Novy Svet.
In 2006 CUA organized two sessions for the field school. The first session was been carried out from 29th July to 12th August. The group of students from Brown University, and a student from Czech Republic took part in this session. Their comments are here.
The second session was 12-26th August. Derek Irwin was a team leader and a supervisor for the student group. The students came from USA and Belgium.
In 2006 lecture topics included “Introduction to Underwater Archaeology”, “Maritime Archaeology”, “History Of Underwater Archaeology”, “Preserving The Underwater Heritage”, “European Underwater Heritage”, “Treasure Hunting vs. Underwater Archaeology”, “European Ancient & Mediaeval Sea Trade and Trade Routes”, “A Brief History of the Ship”, and “History of the Black Sea from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages”.
The students were also instructed in underwater excavation methods, techniques, equipment, reporting and recording. They studied such archaeological material from the site as the amphorae assemblages from the 9-11th centuries and 13th century A.D., and the variation of forms and types among the Glazed Pottery finds from the Ship’s cargo. Lectures and talks were given by specialists from the University of Kiev and invited specialists and archaeologists from the USA, France and Greece. This year lectures were read by Dr. Yona Waksman, a specialist in glazed pottery from The Ceramological Laboratory at Lyon University, Benjamin Geotsch, an archaeologist from Brown University and Derek Irwin, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Paris X, specializing in the social history of the ship. Tutors and instructors were also drawn from the University of Kiev and the Federation of Underwater Sport senior staff.
If required, lectures were translated into Russian for non-English speaking team members and students. The Russian language lectures were also translated into English. Russian language classes are a new and very interesting addition developed for the 2006 season. Classes were given every day for one hour so that foreign students could learn essential daily words and phrases in Russian in order to feel more self-confident while staying in the Crimea. The Russian language classes also provided the essential information on the culture and history of the Ukraine.
Students were organized into teams of two (with cylinders and BCs) or three (if a Hookah compressor is used) and a supervisor, a position which will be assigned to a senior team member.
Some of the team members helped the CUA in material processing, filming and photography as well as in editing reports on expedition activities. For example, during the first session students were filming daily life and lectures on land, and underwater work and dives. After the session, a documentary film is made from the 10 hours of digital video footage, a film that will become an invaluable tool for educating and promoting the project to the public and future students.
The dive training area and the wreck site itself are on average 10 meters deep (ca. 30 ft), which is quite safe and a convenient place for inexperienced divers or beginners. Depending on weather conditions, diving took place 5-6 days a week. The practical part of the learning programme comprised measuring the excavation area and laying grid lines, preparatory excavating before the excavation itself (both water pump and hand fanning), photography both on site and in the camp, and the completion of recording forms.
This year excavation work consisted of the systematic exploration of two areas comprised of 15 4x4 m squares, for a total area of 240 m2.