Archive for 2011 Fieldschool, Germany

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)

Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 13

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

A rope in the trench from Maritime Archaeology Programme on Vimeo.

Andre Skyaasen gives the dive supervisor a heads up on the excavation of the trench.

Ok today everything was………. {censored} lots of problems with equipment, the weather was {censored} and the compressor broke. But we did successfully recover a fantastically preserved piece of rope… Our work in the trench continued today with dredging of sand and removal of big boulders, and we finished the survey of the ammunition trails. That meant the Bussard was also retired after a gallant and proud career in the service of archaeology. This gives us more divers now than you can fit into a small field in germany and as always the story continues….

Padraig Cronin

Hedvig Sophia 2011, Day 12

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

Excavation on the wreck of the Hedvig Sophia from Maritime Archaeology Programme on Vimeo.

A short video of the ongoing excavation shot with our helmet camera. The divers uncover a clay pipe.

A day where we thought we would be at the mercy of the weather gods half-way through the day and call off dives at noon, but as so often before expectations were proved to be wrong, only to have the operations shattered by minor difficulties, that was unsolvable on site.

The dives from Nordwind went without glitches today, the changes were quick and efficient and the divers were on their toes in the water, taking up a good amount of finds. Amongst other things a leather bag that contained a load of musket shots, along with a piece of belt.

Besides a close call for explosion, which came with a careless placing of a gas can in close proximity to the exhaust vent from our pump, the day only contained one debilitating failure, after several days of small problems with the pullstring of the compressor, it finally decided to snap in a position where it could not be fixed with a quick knot. This resulted in having to call operations to a halt early, as we ran out of filled cylinders. This however gave us a good opportunity to get a head start on the finds recording for today.

At writing moment the cooking team has just announced dinner so I will go and grab a well earned bucket of grub.


Anders Callesen

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)