Posts Tagged ‘Maritime Archaeology Programme’

ÄlgöWreck Fieldschool Day 6: Tag your planks!

// August 10th, 2014 // No Comments » // 2014 Fieldschool Älgo

After a regular start from Hellasgården (including a morning swim, porridge and all the perks of a 5:50 am wake-up) we arrived at the marina in Fiskesätra only to find its gates closed. After a short wait our patience ran out and to get things underway, we decided to use the public slipway to load the boat and sail/drive off towards the site.


Our first task of the day was to tag the timbers east of our workline, focusing on the main framing elements and the upright standing member we now call the „sternpost”. Meanwhile the cleaning continued. The tagging went very well and we got over 50 cow tags in place. There was only a 20 minute delay in our schedule until the summer heat got to us and finally we managed 7 dives by the afternoon.


Our second task for the day was to start sketching and taking measurements and our last divers did just that by recording the „keelson” (Timber 482) and some other frames. There was too little time left for this job and visibility was much reduced in the late hours, but it gave a good starting point for the following day.


Improving safety

Improving safety. Taken by Tasha Andersen

Last but not least, there was a job to be done above water too. As it is summertime and the living is easy, countless small watercraft race past the site every day. Some of them also tow wakeboarders or tubes behind them and most of them sail at a high speed. The drivers are generally used to the area and drive their boats routinely, paying little attention to the shore. We try and signal them by marking the site with multiple dive (‘A’) flags, shouting and waving, but the skippers either do not pay attention or recognise our signals too late or just wave back. We have now placed three extra buoys around the site and can dive feeling much safer.


We also recorded some footage with our GoPro camera that we are breaking down into individual frames to create a photo mosaic. To get better results from the recording, we deployed one diver un-tethered and this proved to be the right decision.

At the end of the day logistics got the better of us, because being the supervisor, one of the boat drivers and van drivers does complicate organisation. This resulted in our shopping team having to navigate by phone GPS to find the shop (in fairness they did not find THE shop, but found A shop) and three of us having to fill cylinders and lift the compressor back into the belly of the Great White Shark (aka the IVECO van). However, this is no place to complain as we also got the chance to try our hands at cricket with some local Pakistani players (we did not take it).

At the end of a long day came a delightful dinner; our tortillas and tacos were filled up and our report forms filled in. Another successful day for the SDU-MAP team with much more to look forward to.


Written by: Daniel Dalicsek

Preparing nails

Preparing nails. Taken by Tasha Andersen

A "heated" discussion

A “heated” discussion. Taken by Liisa Randmaa

Bagenkop 2012: And now we have a wreck…

// July 24th, 2012 // No Comments » // 2012 Fieldschool Bagenkop, Fieldwork Projects

Starting excavation with the dredge

The underwater team in the morning had a grand time being blown around underwater by the force of a high pressure lance (the last resort to find our covered wreck, after probing led to no results). It was quite difficult for the petite ladies on the team to handle the powerful tool, even at half-power and even when two were holding it. The aim was to use the lance to blow the sediment away, exposing the wreck. After a morning of making lovely zig-zag patterns right around the sinker, Jens took five minutes with the lance and found the wreck. The lance was switched for the dredger, and little by little more timbers were exposed. Now the field school can start!

Also the land team made a discovery, when in the field right across the Magleby Efterskole 7 anomalies were discovered. The results will be processed in the evening and hopefully this will identify the cause of these anomalies.


Maggie Logan & Alexander Cattrysse

Bagenkop – Episode Two – The missing clinker

// November 8th, 2011 // No Comments » // Announcements, Other archaeological projects

Diver on the old/ new Bagenkop wreck

Undoubtedly one of the great advantages of studying Maritime Archaeology at the SDU is the possibility to develop and gain more experience from little projects alongside the main study programme. With exercising the practical activities, such as diving, measuring, making drawings underwater and dredging, comes the responsibility of planning and managing diving operations, under supervision of our teachers. But the second attempt to find a clinker built shipwreck in Bagenkop was very special for a few of us. This was the first time, when a group of students was asked to hold the task alone.

The group was four students strong and eager to work. The preparation started a few days before leaving to the island of Langeland. After we were given tasks and problems to solve during the trip, we prepared the equipment. Finally the day had come. We hit the road on Wednesday, after class. Three and a half hours drive through the beautiful landscapes of Jylland and Fyn brought us to Bagenkop right after sunset. We were expected in Maritime Efterskole, where our accommodation had been organised. Very hospitable hosts welcomed us with supper. We finished the day with a little walk to the beach and the marina.

We woke up at dawn. The rising sun forecasted nice weather for diving. After breakfast we drove to Rudkobing to pick up a boat and meet Christian Thomsen from Langeland Museum. We came back to Bagenkop, launched the boat and prepared diving equipment. The shipwreck hunt began. The sea was calm and the visibility perfect. First we decided to circulate a bit in the area checking if we could see anything interesting on the bottom. We finally anchored at the place located with the GPS coordinates, that we were given by Christian. The first diver – Dominic, started circular search around sinker poking seabed with a spike. I was sitting in the boat, fully dressed as a standby, when the sun reminded itself, that it was not really present during the summer. I was impatiently waiting to be next in the water. Firstly, because I wanted to be the one who would find the wreck, secondly to cool down. Finally my turn had come. First the crew had moved the sinker to a new place, where I continued the circular search. I found some wood. Unfortunately none of the pieces were worked and the promising long, cylindrical timbers were just branches. At noon we headed back to the harbour, where Christian joined us. The following dives were not prosperous. We moved from place to place hoping for the best. In the afternoon four cylinders with air were emptied and the clinker built shipwreck remained undiscovered.

However good archaeological research is useless if not published. The same way, if maritime archaeology is not popularized there will be no interest in it. That evening we gave a presentation for the students at Maritime Efterskole. Xenius gave a short lecture on maritime archaeology in general. André presented the field school in Germany that took place this summer and I mentioned a few words about the Norwegian one. Christians task was to explain what had brought us to Bagenkop.

The Baltic Sea was very calm the next day. Its’ surface looked like the surface of a lake, and the water was crystal clear. Again we started the day with cruising around hoping that we could spot anything from the surface. We snorkelled probing the seabed with a long pike. Two short dives succeeded with the relocation of the shipwreck found here in August. We sailed back to the harbour, where we met Jens and Bo, who came to Langeland that morning. We discussed what was next, and we decided to focus on the known shipwreck and to stop looking for the mysterious clinker built ship. The aim of the next dives was to gather most information possible e.g. ship orientation, length and width of the site, position, some construction details, how deep under the sediment were the ship, and so on. We dredged, measured, drew for next hours, emptying the last cylinders. We answered all the questions and prepared the site for the first year students who will come to Bagenkop the next summer for their field school.

The project did not only succeed, because we gained new information about the Bagenkop shipwreck, but also because it showed that the way the Maritime Archaeology Programme is designed, prepares students to conduct projects on their own.


Edgar Wróblewski

Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 20

// August 21st, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool, Germany, Fieldwork Projects

A tired but very happy field school crew!

If we count the first day, this is actually day 21 of a tiring, wet but successful field school. Today was a day of cleaning and packing, with a small detachment of Kiel University divers going out to the wreck one last time to cover the trench with sandbags and ballast stones.

I’d like to say thanks, first of all to all participants from Esbjerg and Kiel for the great work and energy.

Thanks obviously also go to Dr Martin Segschneider of the -Archäologisches Landesamt- for facilitating and supporting this year’s field school.

We’d also like to thank our maritime support team, consisting of the Nordwind crew, the Bussard with skippers Jörn and Karl and Jan and Günther, skippers of the SKS Herzallerliebst.

Many thanks to Amandine for advising on and organizing the finds handling and storage during the excavation.

Last but certainly not least, we would like to thank our Schilksee facility managers and the Sailing Centre of the University of Kiel for putting us up and putting up with us. I think letting us move into the gym after our campsite flooded really saved the day!!! THANKS!

Watch this spot for further news, information on the processing and ultimately the field school report!

Jens Auer

Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 19

// August 21st, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool, Germany, Fieldwork Projects

Finishing the drawing...

The morning started with the biggest waves that have been sighted during the whole field school. So we weren’t able to return to our wreck. But for the first time since many days, the weather turned during noon.

Around 10 o’clock we were able to hop onto Nordwind to fulfill the last tasks – recording and drawing. This went very well. The whole trench that had been prepared during the last diving days was completely drawn by different teams. So in the end we got both, plan view and profile. The results of many excavation hours are now illustrated on two sheets.

In the afternoon the sun showed up and the waves became smaller and smaller. It was also the first almost quiet day on Northwind, because compressor, pump and everything else that wasn’t needed stayed on land. Between dives we were able to chill in the sun or meet in the galley. Our happiness was on its highest point when Captain Gerdi and the boy on board, Julian gave us a complete box of expired Cola-Lemonade mixes!
So this last full day of this year’s field school at the Prinsessan Hedvig Sophia turned out to be very successful. It ended with a dinner with good soup and the knowledge that we achieved a lot, because all tasks that had been planned before the campaign could be fulfilled.

Felix Roesch

Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 18

// August 21st, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool, Germany, Fieldwork Projects

Our wonderful community tent (and most other tents) under water - very fitting for an underwater field school

After 72 hours of constant rain, we woke up by the noise of small waves swapping against our tents. No, the big flood didn’t return over night, but the ground was totally soked from the water so that a lake surrounded our tents. The circus tent, our meeting place and kitchen was also completely flooded. First we made fun of the whole thing and started taking group pictures in the lake at our camping ground. But later, when we arrived at the site and big waves where attacking the boats, it became clear that we have another day off – the sixth.
Back at the camp Jesus showed up – in person of the sailing facility handyman – and allowed us to stay in the warm, dry gym and to use some more rooms to dry our tents and to eat. This was very much appreciated!!! Thanks again!!!
The rest of the day, the group continued with processing, the evening was free.

Felix Roesch

Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 17

// August 21st, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool, Germany, Fieldwork Projects

A very wet group shot...

August 11 was a very productive day for underwater operations on the Hedvig Sophia for the 2011 field school. All goals set out for the day where nearly completed.
The keelson was fully exposed, dredging was wrapped up, dredge equipment was returned to shore, and all parts cleaned with fresh water. 50 sandbags were brought to the excavation site, dumped overboard, and placed at the base of the excavated trench. The sand bags will be place on the exposed wreck after the excavation is complete and finally ballast stones will be placed on top of the sand bags to protect the wreck from further erosion and wood burrowing worms. A new baseline was establish from the keelson (marking the center of the ship) to the outside planking of the hull at the base of the trench, which runs parallel with a massive 50 x 50 cm rider. All timbers in the trench were also marked with cow tags and the recording of the basic dimensions of each timber began. The new baseline and the cow tags (used to number each exposed timber in the trench) will be used to complete the final documentation of the wreck, which will include drawing the excavated trench in detail. The detailed drawing will be an essential component of our final analysis of the ships construction.
Finds for the day included, pottery shards, pieces of clay pipes, leather fragments, a glass bottle top that still contained a cork, part of a barrel lid, a barrel stave, a mysteries piece of folded lead, and what appears to be a coil of copper alloy (?) wire.
The wet weather held all day and despite strong winds the short fetch from the west/southwest prevented high seas from halting diving operations. Almost three weeks of diving operations and the growing experience of students, and all parties included, started to show themselves today, which allowed the group to overcome the elements and make up for the two days of consecutive down time due to poor weather (strong winds and a long fetch equaling rough seas) preventing diving operations from commencing.
It is my feeling that today was one of our best days working together as a team and it made my job as the site director very easy and enjoyable.

Xenius Nielsen

Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 16

// August 21st, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool, Germany, Fieldwork Projects

An excursion into the mud---

It was a sunny day. Warm, just a little bit of wind, the visibility under water was nearly up to 42 meters. Perfect diving conditions! And after our totally awesome diving day, everybody got free ice cream. Hoooray!

Sometimes waking up by the wind blowing against your tent could be very disappointing. No sun, no free ice cream. Just rain and too much wind which meant another day without diving, but we tried our best to seize the day. In the morning we stayed in the office and had a very useful session of taking a lot of pictures and learning the best way to enhance their quality. After a tasty lunch, Sunhild took us on a wonderful trip and showed us the beautiful countryside of Schleswig-Holstein. We finally made it to the excavation of Neolithic shell-middens which we planned to visit originally. Dr. Söncke Hartz and Dr. Carsten Mischka very kindly told us everything about the site history and showed us the whole excavation area. Because it’s an excavation under sea-level, some students offered their work as low-water divers. After another scenic tour home, we ended the day with pasta and kebab.

Krister Albert

Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 15

// August 15th, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool, Germany, Fieldwork Projects

Recording in our "office"...

Diving days don’t always go as planned, that’s what I learned today as a site director. The morning started early with a nice surprise, when we sort of realised one after the other that our main shower key was broken and the nearest toilet was 500 meters away. While eating master Crumble without milk, we also learned that the diving day was cancelled due to bad weather and the crazy wind. Plan changed, we all walk to the office recording finds from the previous days. The television crew from channel NDR was also present to film us as professional ‘finds’ recorder. After lots of pottery, shoes, sheets, numbers and confusion we ended our day with recording lots of pottery, shoes, sheets numbers and confusion !

French Canada (Veronique Laplante)

Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 14

// August 15th, 2011 // No Comments » // 2011 Fieldschool, Germany, Fieldwork Projects

Getting ready for the last dive of the day...

The day started bright and early in our beautiful camp in Schilksee in Kiel fjord. Now I’m not quite sure if my fellow students have told about our facilities here. We live in tents, which after two weeks of sun, rain, wind and most other types of weather, are in very different conditions. Some of us live in cheap tents bought in Fakta for 20 dkk to fancy tents that cost a lot more. Those in the cheap tents have very little space and have covered them with some plastic covers while the expensive tents are holding out a bit better.
This morning was a quite wet one, yesterday it rained like there was no tomorrow and everything was still wet. Then it started raining when we were about to leave. Perfect start of the day!!!
We had decided that there was no more work for the Bussard any more so we have moved part of the Bussard crew to the Nordwind and part to land to try to keep up with processing finds (and not working on that until 11:30 in the night). That meant we decided to send an extra diver in the water from the Nordwind to do small tasks outside the trench, which has become a bit like our second home.
The Nordwind showed up a bit late this morning since they had some scheduled check from the authorities (which they passed with flying colors, what a class boat we have), it seemed like the day was not going to well for us in the begining.
BUT the fearless leader of the day kept his head up high, changed his plans several times during the day (but always kept a plan) and because of great people serving as his minions everything went as planned. The dredging is close to finished, it would have been if we didn’t have to expand the trench because the line we had used as a baseline for the trench is not over the keel where we want to end. So we have to expand the trench 0,5-1 metre further.
We got a visit from the German TV station NDR where they came to film me and André work underwater and then they chose the most handsome and smart looking of the team (me) to tell them about the finds we had found during the day.
The minions on the Northwind worked like a well oiled German engine and even though we had some rain today the people on the two overloaded boats sailing from the Nordwind to Strande harbour had huge smiles on their tired faces.
The land team out did everyone else by processing all the finds that had accumulated AND finding time to make the most amazing sandwiches we have had YET.
To end a great day we went to the local restaurant, Luzifer, and had the meanest buffet with great food. Now we are finishing the last chores of the day, scaning dive observation sheets, planing tomorrow and writing site directors blog.

Bless bless elskurnar mínar
The Icelandic Ballast Monkey (IBM)