Posts Tagged ‘projects’

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

Schleswig harbour diver impressions

// March 24th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Announcements, Other archaeological projects

Please specify a Flickr ID for this gallery

Two years of dreaming, seven months of master studies, five weeks of commercial diver training, and everything came to fruition dockside in the Schleswig harbour, Germany on Wednesday 16, 2011. The day started out as one of the most beautiful mornings of the year. Driving south with SDU’s archaeological dive team it really felt like spring had finally sprung in Denmark. Little did I know that the day was soon going to turn into one of the major highlights of my academic career―you know library research is thrilling―but to actually be in the field and discover a part of history, now that is something that will resonate with me forever.
Our arrival in Schleswig harbour was met with great enthusiasm. The German television station NDR was on scene with reporters, a traditional film crew, and their special dive team camera crew. Pleasantries where exchange, a short briefing was given and we began to prepare for our first morning dive. Edgar and I suited up, Gustav and Veronique acted as tenders, and Jens served as our dive supervisor. It was approximately 12:00 when I slipped into the 3.5 meters of water surrounding Schleswig harbour, whereby, visibility was comparable to a night dive without a flashlight. The visibility was zero. NDR’s special dive team camera crew were rendered useless and aborted the dive immediately. However, despite the lack of sight―and a little beginner’s luck―I made find, after find, after find, which turned out to all be pieces of medieval ships that had been broken apart due to dredging activities and were suspected to be in the area. I was instantly addicted―must- find- more― and when the air in my tank ran out I eagerly asked if my empty tank could be exchanged for a full one. Jens accommodated my newly found addiction and I was back in the water in minutes attempting to satisfy my new finds fix. Another tank emptied, a large knee found from the ships internal support structure, and we were off to lunch.
After Lunch we relocated further down the dock and it was Veronique and Gustav’s turn to exercise their beginners luck in the blackout conditions of Schleswig harbour. Veronique was quick to produce results and to the surprise of everyone dockside she had found a keel of a clinker built vessel!! The keel still had waterproofing material loosely attached to it where the garboard strake should have abutted the keel, which created even more excitement among the landlocked maritime archaeologists. It was suspected that the garboard strake had only recently become disarticulated from the keel and potentially parts of the vessel were still in situ underwater!! An amazing reality considering that the harbour had just undergone extensive dredging activities. Veronique was directed to return to the spot she had found the keel to see if she should could located anything else, a task easier said than done when there is nothing to orientate one to underwater. Veronique was on it though, and sooner than later we were inspecting a garboard plank on the dock with clinker nails, a scarf joint, and some simple decorative work. The clock struck 17:00 and we had to wrap up our gear and head back to Denmark.
The day’s experience left everyone feeling great about their chosen carrier paths, and it put into perspective all the hard work that brought us to this point. Reflecting back I think the biggest lesson I took away from that day was that there might have been a couple of people who made the actually finds, but it took a group of committed and competent people to get a person into position to be able to make those finds.
Nice work everyone on making the day a total success!!!

Xenius Nielsen

Photos by Sila Sokulu

Esbjerg Maritime Archaeology Report 3 is out!

// February 26th, 2011 // No Comments » // Announcements, Hedvig Sophia Project

Our new field-school report is out. Thanks again to all contributors and project participants!!!

The report can either be viewed on issuu, or directly on our blog. A printed version will be available soon.

Creating an issuu account is free of charge and all documents can be downloaded as pdf’s. Issuu also offers a better browsing experience with a beautiful fullscreen magazine layout.

As usual, our own publications, programme flyers, report and of course the Maritime Archaeology Newsletter from Denmark, can also be downloaded directly, by clicking on the Direct Download link beneath the issuu browser window.

Hedvig Sophia Day 17

// August 11th, 2010 // No Comments » // Fieldwork Projects, Hedvig Sophia Project

Empty plates and happy faces. Thanks to Slesvig Roklub!

The (supposedly) predicable weather was our theme for the day, as we delayed departure this morning in pursuit of favourable conditions. Luckily we were able to make it out and had divers in the water around midday, to continue the measurements and drawings for the bow and stern.

Both teams did well and, despite a camera crew being on board, we made some progress on our drawings. We meant to leave a little earlier today, as we were invited to the Slesvig Rowing Club for a viewing of the TV film about Hedvig Sophia and a barbeque. Despite inclement weather and a dinner date we made three sets of dives, especially important as we were unsure whether the weather would be suitable for diving the next day.

We drove straight to the rowing club, to be greeted by the wonderful smell of a barbeque….. starved (and somewhat tired) students (and one hungry professor) leapt on the opportunity to eat! Once gratefully stuffed, we sat down to watch the Hedvig Sophia film. Each group presented our progress to the club, Athena speaking for team Bussard and Fred for team Nordwind.

After a long day and a pleasant evening, we were back at work, processing our data from the day. We needed to be prepared for the next day, as we didn’t know if we would be able to dive. Just in case, we needed to be prepared and know exactly what we had to get to finish satisfactorily. Luckily, the evening of good food (and maybe a few beers) put us in good stead and we didn’t finish too late…

The whole team thanks the Slesvig Rowing Club for their hospitality, not just for this evening but for the three weeks they have been kind enough to house us. We are extremely grateful, as it has made our fieldschool possible –  and we certainly wouldn’t have been quite so comfortable anywhere else!

Sylvia Bates

Hedvig Sophia Day 12

// August 6th, 2010 // No Comments » // Fieldwork Projects, Hedvig Sophia Project

A sunny day on our "diving support vessel"

The day when everything went like a clockwork…

When we arrived on site, the conditions were perfect: Sunshine and a gentle breeze. The main tasks on this day were completing the timber records at the bow and offset drawing of the visible structure. At the stern, divers started dredging after they finished trilaterating the baselines for offset drawing.

In their first dive, divers from the Bussard team installed the dredges at their new location at the stern. The Nordwind team started dredging at the stern in their 2nd dive. Until the end of the day these tasks were continued during four dives on each boat.

The only thing that we missed during this perfect day, was the cocktailbar boat (providing non-alcoholic drinks, of course), well, and some light sunburns caused by very short workwear were encountered…

Jasmin Loose

University of Kiel

Hedvig Sophia Day 8

// August 2nd, 2010 // No Comments » // Fieldwork Projects, Hedvig Sophia Project

Nordwind at anchor

The day that went awry…..

This was not the best day. To start with, two of the three small boats were not available, due to small technical problems. But backup was available with the third and the two larger vessels, the Bussard and the Nordwind, so the rhythm of loading the equipment did not need to be disturbed.

On arrival at the site however, the Nordwind was found to have fouled its propeller in one of the three anchor lines. Was it going to suffer the same fate as the Hedwig Sophia, nearly 295 years before? Well, no reason to fear for that. Moreover: the crew was more than happy for ‘the Danes’ to come to their ‘rescue’, very much unlike the crew of the Swedish Hedwig Sophia, who started to destroy the ship rather than have the Norwegian Dane Peter Wessel take over. It did not take Jens long to kit up and clear the propeller, but nevertheless useful time was lost.

So far nothing was wrong with the Bussard. Unlike the Nordwind, it had come to the site safely. So work started. On the Nordwind the compressor was started. Tanks were filled. Divers prepared to be transferred to the Bussard. But even before they left, the radio gave word that the Bussard had broken the joint that connects the gearbox to the propeller-shaft. It was a lame duck, riding on its anchor it the choppy waves of a northwesterly with free play on the water.

Why does all gear always dysfunction on the same day? Had my fellow-countryman Murphy personally taken care of that? Were these the conditions for my maiden trip as site director? No reason to panic, it might still be possible to put two divers in the water from the Nordwind and two from the Bussard. But when injury followed all Murphy’s insults, we packed our stuff in the hope of better conditions for the morrow. After a somber ride through the gently undulating countryside of Schleswig-Holstein – lying in the lee, and not suggesting any sign of wind – the students went shopping for groceries and catalogued finds. I truly hope I get a chance with better luck next time!

Jason Lunze

Hedvig Sophia Day 7

// August 1st, 2010 // No Comments » // Fieldwork Projects, Hedvig Sophia Project

Felix, our Mohawk diver, recording the bow section

After completing the first week of our field school, the routine has more or less settled in on both boats. So far, the different boats have kept the same diving teams that were set up the first day and everyone is getting more comfortable with their given tasks. However, as we have noticed since day one of our diving training, there is no such thing as an accurate plan for the day. Many things will change during the day due to unforeseen events and yesterday was no exception: Seasickness found its first victim after the weather became more agitated, but no severe damage was sustained and work could continue with good progress throughout the day.

Maria Lindberg

Hedvig Sophia Day 2

// July 28th, 2010 // No Comments » // Hedvig Sophia Project

Vasiliki on her first Hedvig Sophia dive

For the second day the divers were split up into two teams. One team stationed on the Bussard and the other on the Nordwind.

The Bussard team was in charge for dredging the bow area of the wreck so that it was possible to have a small overview of it.

On the other boat (Nordwind) the team was assigned to fix the poles for trilateration into the seabed. This particular task had some issues to solve in the beginning. One of them was related to the consistency of the soil, since it was too thick to drive the poles in. After fixing the problem, by using a drill connected to the dredger we started to fix in poles. We started by the stern and then we moved alongside the port side of the boat. In total there were 5 poles driven, 70 cm, through the seabed.  Each and every pole was numerically marked with electrical tape so that divers could know where they are positioned.

By the end of the day, 5 poles were driven to the seabed with 10 m distance between them and the dredger team, stationed at the Bussard almost finished dredging the bow area, where some finds started to appear.

Second day, mission accomplished and a lot of expectation towards the next one.

Joao Nuno Borges Da Silva

Recording in 3D

// April 30th, 2010 // No Comments » // Maritime Archaeology Masters Programme

Using a 3D laser scanner on the Faro arm

As a result of SDU’s commitment to provide cutting edge training and education to its students, the Maritime Archaeology Programme held a weeklong intensive hands on training session with the FARO Arm in conjunction with the 2010 FARO Arm and Rhino Archaeological Users Group (FRAUG) meeting.  This cutting edge technology was first developed for the automotive industry but is now also being utilized by the archaeological community out of a need for a common methodology for 3D data recording.

For this week, a number of experts from projects throughout Europe came together to show us how to record archaeological artifacts in 3D.  Using 4 different FARO Arms along with a 3D laser scanner, we were able to create digital renderings of timbers from the early modern “Wittenbergen” wreck that sank in the Elbe.  The instructors then showed us how to properly organize the data, using Rhino 3D, a computer aided design (CAD) program.  This data could then be used to produce 2D line drawings or a physical 3D model of the artifacts.  The week ended with a meeting of FARO Arm users updating the group on their respective projects and troubleshooting the various issues related to 3D modeling.

We would like to express their thanks to Toby Jones and  Erica McCarthy (Newport Ship Project), Frank Dallmeijer (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed) for their patience and expertise, helping the SDU students remain at the forefront of archaeological innovation. Many thanks also to the German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven for participating in the organization of the course and to Dr Ralf Wiechmann at the Museum for the History of Hamburg for providing the timbers for recording!

Andrew Stanek & Nicholas Ranchin-Dundas

Guns in 3D

// January 6th, 2010 // No Comments » // Maritime Archaeology Masters Programme

Frederik Hyttel, one of the students here at the Maritime Archaeology Programme in Esbjerg won our “HMS St George gun modelling competition”…- well, or just delivered an incredibly detailed model…
You can download his model of an iron 12 pounder lifted from the wreck of HMS St George below. Frederik’s model is based on the total station survey of a gun and carriage on display in the Strandingsmuseum Thorsminde. To view the Rhino 3D file, you need a copy of Rhinoceros3D. A fully functional evaluation version can be downloaded here. The Sketchup file can be viewed and modified with the free 3D modelling software Google Sketchup.

Iron 12 Pounder HMS St George (Rhino3D file – 17MB)

Iron 12 Pounder HMS St George (Sketchup file – 26MB)