Posts Tagged ‘archaeological recording’

Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 11

// August 9th, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool, Germany, Fieldwork Projects

An "excavation pair" in the trench...

In contrast to the last two days, the weather was rather nice this day. A soft breeze of 2 to 3 Beaufort allowed us to continue our work on the shipwreck and the ammunition trail. For me the day started not quite as planned because a fellow diver from Kiel let me down – or rather my well thought out diving schedule that I had made the evening before. Since he didn’t like the idea to use the SDU-Divers equipment instead of his own, he refused to dive from the Nordwind (where all divers are supposed to use the SDU equipment) and went on board of the Bussard. So I had to reschedule my plan. But apart from the knowledge that we receive and the improvement of our diving skills we develop another skill that is vital for archaeologists, the ability to improvise. Therefore five minutes after I learned of the mutiny a new plan was made…and in the end all went well…
Okay, that short description doesn’t really tell of the great work that was done today by all our team members, on sea as well as on land.
The crew on the Nordwind, represented by Jens, Holger, Padraig, André, David, Xenius Caroline (around 12 replaced by Jasmin) and myself, continued dredging the trench that was set through the ballast stone pile. As on the days before a number of new finds were made. Among them a complete barrel stave made of wood and a leather shoe.
The divers on the Bussard, Veronique, Dominic and three divers from Kiel did an awesome job as well. In one day they managed to document, clean and film the second, almost 35 m long ammunition trail.
Today Anders and Toni were assigned for land duty, to do the usual routine of cleaning, preparing sandwiches, shopping and cooking. Beside these tasks they did also a good amount of work in the office under supervision of Amandine, processing the finds that we brought up the day before.
In short, we had a good day of hard work . Well done lads and lasses.

Bjørn Meinhardt (Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel)

Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 10

// August 9th, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool, Germany, Fieldwork Projects

Mooring the Nordwind

Once again the day started early and the conditions did not look very promising. The winds were against us and the sea very irregular. However, we managed to be on site one hour later than usual, but still, better one hour lost than the whole day.
With Nordwind refusing to hold still, the two small boats struggled to attach it to the buoys, so we could get on board with our gear. After 2 hours of persistence, we finally got a more peaceful scenario and we all got on board.
Quickly, the gear was moved to the deck and the sets got ready to the 2 first divers as well with the set of the stand by diver. Thanks to this first dive of the day, carried by Caroline and Anders, we got the first find of the day: a piece of what is believed to be a clay pipe, which presents some traces of decoration (lines and dots). The personnel activities on board were conducted very well and without delays, including the sets change, divers rotation and ´the recharging of cylinders. The second dive was conducted by David and Xenius who brought to our eyes some barrel staves and a small metal tip. When everything was going smoothly, the fog returned to us. Still, we carried on for the third dive (after Veronique and Padraig super sandwiches) which was carried by me and André. We took a sample of the rope previously detected by the second dive team and several wooden pieces that seem to be fragments of a barrel lid.
Even though we had a late start, we managed to carry out 3 dives, where each one of us participated and giving continuity to what the previous team did. The fourth dive was carried out by Jens, with the purpose of obtaining some drawings…while the rain decided to fall for a long while. Still, our Commander in Chief managed to bring up a wooden spoon in excellent conditions and an object pierced 5 times which seems to be some kind of pentagram.
The Bussard team of Dominic and Bjorn carried out 2 dives. On the first they cleared the ammunition trail from all the seaweed and on the second dive they filmed the trail that they just cleared.
It was an excellent day of work if we look at all our obstacles, but as a great friend of mine once said “obstacles are temporary oppositions”.

António Santos

Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 9

// August 9th, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool, Germany, Fieldwork Projects

Artefact photography in action

Today was yet another sunny day with winds in an unfavourable direction. This time, however, the plan was not another museum trip, but a day at the office. We had enough finds to process, and to start it all we had Amandine to tell us how to take care of finds in a conservation-friendly way. The finds themselves were pretty cool; we had two large pieces of leather shoes or boots, one of which was near enough intact. Another find that was clearly recognisable was a claypipe in a leather case. Among the others were four pieces of a wooden barrel, some musket shots, buttons that looks like musket shots with a ring (for fastening) and decorations, glazed pieces of ceramics, and less identifiable pieces of leather than the shoe pieces. All of the finds had been recovered during the dredging of the wreck site trench.
Everybody didn’t record the finds, as there were more data to be registered. The ammunition trail data was transferred from the excel-file to a 3D-version in Rhino, and there were some brave attempts at getting the positions of the guns transferred into GIS. The GIS program did not want to cooperate with the older version of itself, and there were also some problems with the conversion of data in degrees and minutes, and even with the x- and y-axis. The problems were solved after some hours of frustration and a downloading session of the newest versions of everything. Oh, by the way, our Internet connection difficulties worked out well today, as you can get Internet connection for the rest of your life at the hotel nearby for 5 euro.

The equipment also needed attention, like filling tanks and pony bottles, so two of our team went to Nordwind in our boat, the Mapper, which apparently can go much faster when it’s not tied down by a large crew and heavy equipment…
Of course no day is complete without a visit to the beach. All in all a rather productive day off, and we’re pretty much up to date with most of our office work.

Caroline Persson

Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 8

// August 3rd, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool, Germany, Fieldwork Projects

Discussing finds on deck...

A claypipe in it's leather case, one of our recent finds

The day started well and ended even better. We were divided as usual into three teams, that is the Nordwind team, the Bussard team and the home team. Caroline stayed home with Amandine, Anders, Padraig Bjorn and Christian were put on the Bussard and Xenius, Veronique Andre, Tony, David and I were on the Nordwind, David transfered to the Düker after his dive. Everything went as planned on the Nordwind and there were some interesting finds like a whole clay pipe, a broken up barrel and an almost complete shoe. Everyone managed to do one dive each but after Tony and I dived the winds had picked up and it was time to head home, Jens and Holger will have to leave the diving for another day. As for the Bussard team the mission remained the same which was to record the ammunition trail. When we had all arrived back on land we packed the van and made our way back to camp where we filled out observation forms, debriefed and ate lots and lots of ice-cream. The processing of the finds will be done tomorrow as the winds have decided to show their strength once again Leaving us no choice but to stay on land. Amandine will go through the necessary procedures of find conservation. A quick swim and a lovely barbeque was what finished our day and everyone seemed satisfied with both the finds and the food. Lets just hope that the winds give way a little so we can get back in the water. Like artefacts if we stay too long out of the water we dry up and become unrecognizable.

Dominic Tomasi

Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 7

// August 3rd, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool, Germany, Fieldwork Projects

Diver filling the lifting bag used to remove ballast stones

My biological clock woke me up early, as it usually does, at 5:30. A warm shower was followed by breakfast, which seemed to offer some insight to what type of day it was going to be…a careless hand and cold spilt milk ended up in my lap, which was soon followed by the same non-responsive hand following suit and stray cereal bounced out of my bowl onto my already milk damp pants…..Hmmmm, I thought…. is it really going to be one of those days…well, at least now I know, I concluded, trying to spin some optimism into a pessimistic outlook. Not to brag…but I was right. We got to the dock late, packed all three dive boats, and were ready to disembark when it was made apparent that one set of boat keys had not made it out of our vehicle that was now out of reach by cell and would not return until 12:00. Well, key or not…the show must go on! I think we can agree that it is not an unusual sight to see a boat towed into a harbour, for a variety of reasons (i.e. lack of fuel, engine problems, etc.) but it is another sight altogether to see a boat towed out of the harbour. I’m sure the few people awake on the docks that saw us were scratching their heads, and wondering why a motor boat would be towed out into the Baltic Sea without a functioning motor.
I will not bore you with the details of the early morning gong show that followed, but in sum we were three people short on the Nordwind (our major main dive platform for all dive operations on the 17th century Hedvig Sophia shipwreck that lies in 6 meter of water at the mouth of the Kiel Fjord), and it was easily apparent that several hats needed to be worn by the few of us onboard (i.e. supervisor/tender/helper hat). One advantage with this type of predicament is that time is saved not having to tell people what to do because…well, you are doing it. Agreed, the day got off to a rocky start, but we managed to meet all our operational goals for the day and several finds were retrieved from the wreck, including a leather shoe, a couple of pieces of leather stitched together probably coming from other shoes, a bone comb with teeth on both sides, a musket shot, two round copper alloy buttons, and another cannon was discovered from the area around the wreck.
In conclusion, the day ended on a fantastic note…Thomas the Captain of the Nordwind gave us nine freshly caught cod to BBQ as gratitude for cleaning his boat’s propeller, the day before, so in the golden sunlight of a setting sun, sitting on picnic benches set on the grass in the harbour of Strande (the town were our field school operations are based) we feasted on some of the Baltic’s best seafood offerings and drank some of German’s best liquids consisting of our four favorite ingredients: Malt, hops, yeast, and fresh water.

Xenius Nielsen

Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 6

// August 3rd, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool, Germany, Fieldwork Projects

Coming back after a long diving day...

After two days of lounging about on the beach in the sun, it was time for work again for the dive team on Hedvig Sophia. Conditions at sea were too tough for our boat the last two days, leaving us unsure whether we could go out this morning as well. In spite of some waves in the morning, it turned out to be a beautiful day, with divers nearly melting from the heat when preparing to go into the water.
Today we started perhaps the most exciting part of the project. Having spent the first week setting up the site and all our tools, we started to dredge away the sand on the part of the ship we have exposed from the ballast mound. Now we get to see what we really want, which is a new part of the ship. The next days will be spent continuing this work, exposing the ship’s construction and shape. Once the sand is dredged away, and all artefacts have been documented, we can start documenting the ship’s side.
We are also working on the ammunition trail that the ship left in its wake when it sank, documenting the pieces of shot and armaments that trail up to fifty meters behind the shipwreck. This work should take another few days, and is coming along nicely.
This day that was eventually insanely hot was ended with the now almost ritualized cooling swim on the beach right near our campsite, the perfect refreshment after a long day in a drysuit in the sun!

Andre Skyaasen

Hedvig Sophia 2011 on the news

// August 3rd, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool, Germany, Announcements, Fieldwork Projects

Die Durchblicker

We were just visited by a German radio journalist. You can find his report on our work here! (only in German)…

Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 4

// July 30th, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Group shot in front of the "Ehrenmal" in Laboe

Today the weather didn’t mean it well with us. The wind was too strong to go out on site. We had to stay at the camp doing some other important things.
First task was to document the finds lifted yesterday. An “almost complete” grapeshot and a “maybe-a-pommel-of-a-dagger-or-a-sword-thing”.
After a little mutiny the diving team decided to leave their Site Director…me… at the camp to go shopping and have a nice “Currywurst” in Laboe. From the nearby war memorial, which includes a 2nd World War U-boat, they had a nice view over the Kieler Fjord. While the diving team had that really exhausting day I kept on working hard at the office… sure.
The day ended up with an “even-hotter-than-hell” curry that probably would have been hard to digest even for indian stomaches.

Jasmin Loose

Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 3

// July 30th, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool, Germany, Fieldwork Projects

Water exit after ballast stone removal

Calm clear harbour waters concealed the vicious turbulent seas which besieged our brave divers who battled against the forces of nature. The superb diving and archaeological skills which every diver in the Germany fieldschool possessed was needed in rough seas. But all tasks where completed when the last of the fearsome trench stones had being moved (almost) thought sub-human effort and willpower along with stout decisive leadership. An offset system had also being masterfully set up in second part of the day as to help pinpoint any artefacts inside the excavation trench using last years datum points still dotted around the wreck. Today showed that our plucky divers could survive any the Baltic Sea could throw at and win surely nothing could stop our divers now ARCHAEOLOGY 1 SEA 0…..

Padraig Cronin

Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 2

// July 30th, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool, Germany, Fieldwork Projects

On Nordwind...

Since I have been sick since arriving to the mainland last weekend I haven’t been diving with the rest of the team. After two days of cooking, shopping, cleaning and other domestic chores needed for the group it was nice to come out to the Nordwind to do some real work. The weather was excellent, sun, 0-2 m/sec wind and very calm sea. Everyone’s spirits were high and we were ready to rock. The mission on the Nordwind for the day was to keep on the work from yesterday, moving ballast stones to make the trench. The composition of the stones closer to the middle was different than around the edges. Bigger stones seem to have been loaded closer to the middle, which made the work harder for the divers. As one of the divers said “We moved ALL the stones from the basket, even the very heavy ones”. Also it seems like we are going through the part where the mess might have been since there is quite a lot of bricks there with evidence of burning.
In the end of the day the trench was looking very promising and after Jens and Holger went mad on the rest of the stones and cleared them magically away the trench was ready for measuring and then dredging. The trench seems to have quite a bit of finds and today we lifted a piece of a leather shoe.
On the Bussard things were happening to, they had found both the trails and started working on the longer one. They have established a base line and they record every artifact found there (and there is plenty) by measuring the distance on the baseline and the distance from the baseline for every find. Today they measured 10 meters, which is around 3 meters per dive.
That is all for today from sunny Germany.
Auf Wiedersehen

David Bjarni Heidarsson