Archive for 2011 Fieldschool Norway

Skjernøysund – Home Again

// July 19th, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool Norway, Fieldwork Projects

Norway Fieldschool 2011 from Maritime Archaeology Programme on Vimeo.

A Movie by Edgar Wroblewski

We’re home again, after three tiring, exciting weeks in Norway. Very soon we’ll begin processing all the data and producing our fieldwork report, but before that a little teaser in the form of Edgar’s Hollywood production- the fieldschool movie!

We would like to thank all the people who made this project possible again: the Skjernøy islanders for all their support and interest (Thank you Per, Otto, Elisabeth, and everybody else), the Mandal dive club for constant support, compressor repairs, air fillings, lending us a boat and so much more, and last but certainly not least the Norwegian Maritime Museum for making this project possible in the first place!!!

Thanks Everybody! We would certainly like to come back any time!

Skjernøysund – Day 18

// June 22nd, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool Norway, Fieldwork Projects

Finalising our "Master Plan"...

That was really long day (and the shortest night of the year).Daylight was gone for only 1,5 h.  Coincidently again the day, I was the site director, ended in the lighthouse. But let’s start from the beginning…

Today we scheduled the dive number ‘0’. Before student divers entered the abyss, Jens tried to take photos for a new photo mosaic. But due to bad visibility it didn’t go well. The next dive (dive number 1) was more successful. Kasper continued working on the offset and Sandra described selected timbers. Dive 2: Gustav was busy with timbers; Sila completed drawing adding details on Kasper’s drawing board. Third dive brought us first samples for dendrochronology test. Eva selected 5 timbers that ware later cut and preserved so unharmed can they reach the laboratory. Peter was occupied with drawing between 7meter line and 11meter line 2meters north and up. There was only one more dive today. I followed Peter’s results and finished the next 2 meters north from his part of the ship wreck. Kaspers 2nd dive today was a guard dive. He protected me from a huge crab that found its home under ceiling planks. Being multitasking he also gathered loose timbers and cleaned a bit area?

Goals from today were:

-          Photo mosaic

-          Fixing the drawing

-          Find the ‘candidates’ for dendro samples

-          Cleaning the shipwreck

Only two were fully successful. We finally finished the main plan in scale 1:10. It looks amazing. It took exactly the time that had been planned. From the very beginning the work went smoothly. Other thing is samples (already mentioned). Photo mosaic will be taken tomorrow.

After work at the site we had briefing on which we summed up the day and planned tomorrow. Dinner was shortly after discussion. At 6:15 p.m. we were ready with all the archaeological work of the day so we headed for the southern most lighthouse of Norway. It was long light so we had to wait for the light house to be turned on. I had really long walk and I climbed on almost every hill around the lighthouse. The team came back around 00:00 a.m. Good morning everyone. Have a nice day and a nice summer which has started tonight.

There are only two more days left before we’ll go back to Esbjerg on Friday. After three weeks we got used to work and the system we worked in. Everyday routine set our biological clocks to wake up at 6 a.m. every day with no alarm clock (at least most of us wake up, some can sleep all the time – even while being awake). Everyday duties taught us diving procedures and hard work underwater (at least most of us know what to do).  ‘Site director’ day gives us responsibilities and makes us decide in cases of archaeological project management and even though it may be tough to be a boss to your friends this is what we all have to learn, and that will be our job when we graduate (at least most of us hope so ). Field school, in my opinion, is the best way to study archaeology. It doesn’t matter if it’s on land or underwater project (in our case it is nicer to be underwater). Archaeology is in the field study it will always be.

Being here assured me that this is kind of work I would like to do in the future. I’m looking forward to the next projects. It is a great adventure in a really beautiful place but as we’re done with the project it’s time to relax and finally see our beloved ones.

There is only one thing that makes us not to hurry to go back to Esbjerg… – Coming Material Culture exam, next Tuesday/Wednesday. Let’s hope we can use the knowledge we gained in Skjernøsund on the ‘Vrak 3’.

Edgar Wroblewski

Skjernøysund – Day 17

// June 21st, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool Norway, Fieldwork Projects

Barrels on the seabed...

With only four working days left it is time to take state of affairs. By now only a small area in the north western corner of the wreck remains to be recorded and added to the plan. From the morning it was therefore the object of the day to finish the recording of this area. At the moment one diver is thus recording new timbers on the wreck while the other diver inspects previous recordings.

At the end of the day when the plan was put together it became clear that every part of the ship was recorded. However it also became clear that some areas need correction before they reflect the true construction details of the ship. As these details are essential to correct while the project is still going on, this is first priority for Tuesday. The number of well preserved barrels reached five this day, but traces of many that are now eroded away can still be seen on the wreck. These traces appear as barrel shaped chalk like formations. The picture put op on today’s blog shows one of these barrels. Future analysis will hopefully reveal the nature and origin of the contained material.

Peter Astrup

Skjernøysund – Day 16

// June 20th, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool Norway, Fieldwork Projects

Drawing on the wreck...

As the weather kept on changing we kept on diving. The day would mostly offer rain but 4-5 meters under the surface that did not bother us very much.  The 1:10 drawing was coming along nicely and there were not many areas of the wreck that had not been covered. A bundle of barrels at the northern side were measured and drawn. In the western end the keel scarf was made visible when the timber in front of it was removed.  Our professors had to admit that the cross section of the keel presented a greater interpretational challenge in terms of construction than anticipated. We are nearing the last stage of this survey and operations have been running smoothly all the way. We count on that we will be able to reach the goals we have.

During the project we have become objects of great interest for the individuals living beneath the surface. Perhaps a bit shy in the beginning but now the fish swim within inches of us in the water, sometimes nibbling on our folding rulers. I hope that they have not been too disturbed by our little visit in their habitat.

Gustav Bergljung

Skjernøysund – Day 15

// June 20th, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool Norway, Fieldwork Projects

The Skjernøysund Wreck after excavation from Maritime Archaeology Programme on Vimeo.

Another intense day is about to reach its end, as so will soon do our journey. Almost five days before we go back and it’s easy to read the tiredness in everybody’s eyes. Breakfast becomes more and more silent, and the nights end the same way, almost counting “corpses” in the couch every time we decide to call it a night with a movie, and so did today. Though, despite the tough of the situation, the team is been very productive in general. Most of the scaled drawing is now finished, although we faced many problems in between –oh, those baselines…- and probably will face some more till we’re officially done and over with, but still we did our best and the results keep proving us right. Fortunately, there was no wind today, but the water was cold as every other day. The visibility was pretty good on the other hand, permitting us to even film the wreck from the boat, together with the divers working on it.
So what we did basically was continuing our drawing, record some new timbers, measure the cargo-barrels and photograph our progress once more, in order to produce a more detailed photo mosaic. Perhaps the most interesting part of the day, archaeology-wise, is a metal object that was found during one of the first dives of the day. The object resembles a pipe, around 30 cm long, with two metal plates with a number of holes at each end, and is thought to be a scupper.
When we first came here some 15 days ago, we could only see some planks covered with sediment and seaweed. The more we got to work on the wreck, the more we understood about its structure, being able to see the little details that we easily ignored at first. And every day the image in our heads appears more and more clear. We are investigators, analyzing the facts, searching for evidence, matching the pieces and filling the missing parts, so that we would be able to tell the story. It is a nice feeling indeed.
The end of the day found us exhausted and hungry, literally throwing ourselves over the home-made burgers, in the playground area next to our house. Fortunately we didn’t have to kill each other for food as there was plenty, but delicious as it was, we didn’t keep it for long anyways. That was also a good treat, thanks guys!
I think I better get to bed now because it’s getting really late and every minute of sleep is really important at this point. But before I go, since it’s already past midnight and “tomorrow” is no longer “tomorrow” but “today”, I would take the chance and wish my dad a happy father’s day. –I hope I won’t get banned for that- bye byeeeee!!!

Eva Karali

Skjernøysund – Day 14

// June 18th, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool Norway, Fieldwork Projects

A note for the loved one...

Our to-do-list for today has been completely checked off. We managed to fill in all of our gaps on the drawing of the keel and labeled it. A profile drawing has been made on seven meters on the wreck and we have now moved our lines so that the drawing can continue on in a new line from west to east.

This morning the land crew was busy with filling the sand bags that we recently got. They are going to be used to cover loose timbers and sensitive areas on the wreck site to prevent destruction. They were accidentally filled with too much sand today and carrying them to the pier wearing a drysuit was not very comfortable so we will probably fill them less next time…

One of the divers in the second dive had problems completing his task. He was not able to concentrate on the recording and his mind was clearly somewhere else. Even though he got yelled at because of ruining the expensive millimetric paper, the diver continued writing his message to his beloved one back at home (see picture)!

Sila Sokulu

Skjernøysund – Day 13

// June 17th, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool Norway, Fieldwork Projects

Kasper, the standby diver entertainer...

The day started with the earliest dive ever at 7.25, posing the basis for a very productive day.

Later on a dive team of the National Maritime Museum of Oslo, which is supporting our fieldschool and stay, joined us for a short dive and inspection of the underwater excavation going on.

We also received a visit from a journalist/ cameraman from the Norwegian National TV (NRK), who interviewed Jørgen Johannsen from the National Maritime Museum and recorded a live description of the wreck site – so “our” wreck might be featured on TV…

In the afternoon dredging operations revealed the bow area and keel, while the plan ended with a near complete record of the keel’s length.

If we continue at this pace, we should not have any problems to finish in time, although the survey does not proceed without mistakes, due to the relatively low level of experience that we have in this field.

All this is also possible thanks to the fantastic logistic support of Per, the owner of the pier where our boat is moored and guarded by Kasper, a lively dog who entertain us with its company.

Once diving was finished in late evening, we recovered with a delicious dinner made of rice and chicken, at the old elementary school of Skjernøy, where we live at the moment; the day was not finished until we completed the office’s duties, like entering data on the computer, or filling in artifacts forms, with the help of generous slices of water melon and pieces of cake, saved from last night’s conference.

Anna Boda

Skjernøysund – Day 12

// June 16th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // 2011 Fieldschool Norway, Fieldwork Projects

Presentations in the beautiful Grendehus on Skjernøy

The team seems to have reached their full potential in recording and drawing the shipwreck and a lot of recording has been done on the wreck today.

At the moment we work in groups of 2 divers, one recording timbers and one drawing the shipwreck in scale 1:10. At today’s debriefing we agreed to increase the workload from 4 dive groups a day to 5 dive groups and also continue the option of putting a third diver in the water, just to be sure we record the entire wreck with the same standard of detail as so far.

We plan to have the ship drawn after Tuesdays dive, so that we have time for further recording, such as making profiles of areas of interest.

This evening we also met up with people from Skjernøy, the Norwegian Maritime Museum, Mandal dive club , all sharing a great interest in the maritime archaeological discoveries of Skjernøysund. We heard 3 lectures on the subject and this gave us an opportunity to share our progress so far.

The great interest in our work and the shipwreck means a lot to us and we are very glad to see so many showing interest this evening, we feel very much welcome here.

We will also like say “Thank you very much for the cake” it is being very much enjoyed as this is written.

Kasper Sparvath

Skjernøysund – Day 11

// June 16th, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool Norway, Fieldwork Projects

Cylinders and the charging of them have become a common theme...

The sun has settled, and so, finally, have we. The day has passed with surprisingly few problems, and for that we are grateful. Yesterday our compressors stopped working, so again we find ourselves at the mercy of the local dive club and their facilities.  I believe it is safe to say that this particular field school would not have run as smoothly were we to do it in a more remote or less hospitable location. Due to the general lack of complications, we have even found a few quiet hours to enjoy a movie. Some even seem to have time to study for our upcoming exam that is to be held immediately after our return to Esbjerg.

Today was the windiest day so far in our project, and several of us got to experience the delight of having our work interrupted by being forcefully hauled up by the surface-line when it got caught in the boat as it was blown across the bay. It’s in times like that one comes to appreciate the shallow depth and generally sheltered location of our site.

The drawing is progressing well, although there seems to be some discrepancies in how many centimeters we should count in a meter, with the unfortunate result that some of the work done does not pass muster. These small problems should however be solvable with more practice, so the end result should be a accurate plan-drawing of our shipwreck. The other half of our current work is the recording of the individual timbers. This is relatively tedious work, but it gives us the opportunity to examine every aspect of each individual piece that makes the ship, which has already shown to be of great benefit when we’ve had to compare the scaled drawings to see where any wrong measurements might have been taken.

Although we see a progression in our work, it seems we have many days of drawing and recording ahead of us, and little enough time to do it in. But soon enough we will be back down south in Esbjerg, and then we can start to miss the intense but interesting and fun days of our fieldwork.

Tord Karlsen