As exciting as it sounds, the course (led by Giles Richardson and Ginge Crook of Maritime Archaeology Sea Trust, MAST) initiated us into the depths of maritime archaeology (not to be confused with treasure hunting :). Even more exciting is the fact that Oxford and Cambridge Universities first time (?) (editor’s comment: NOT the first time!) were not competing against each other but working together! 🙂
OUUEG and CUUEG club members spent two days at the Vobster Quay discovering maritime archaeology surveying techniques: offset baseline, triangulation, and even photomosaics (see the model result! Special credits to Graham, Conall and Dan 🙂 Evening in a pub thanks to Rick, and UNO, lovely chats with Mendip Cave Group members, who allowed us to stay in their cosy cavers’ hut, and more (you name it! :).
We started our journey through the course with ‘dry’ practical exercises outside the hut, which was followed by the first dive, where we could test our ‘initial’ knowledge. Then we had a theory class in the afternoon. Albeit a bit unorthodox, this order of events proved very helpful and let us consolidate skills and knowledge in a more natural way. Sunday was mostly diving — first scouting: we had to find object of our studies — the rowing boat and explore the area, and then tasks were assigned: measurements meticulously recorded on the slates, and photos taken for the model. Later in the afternoon we had additional theory classes, a test, and mapping of our finds.
Summing up: it was a great pleasure and fantastic experience to take part in this wonderful course. Amid merciless weather and sometimes murky water (guess why :)), working together on the project was incredible fun, often spiced with laughter (even underwater :)), so huge thanks to everyone, and especially to our teachers, Ginge & Giles, and everyone who helped to organise this marvellous little adventure!