Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum Day Five

Gold Coast Wreck Conservation Project – Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum.

The last day of fieldwork and as usual full of excitement. We woke up to find ourselves on the front page of the Gold Coast Bulletin (Figure 1 and 2).

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Figure 1: Front page of the Gold Coast Bulletin (Photo Lauren Davison).

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Figure 2: Gold Coast Bulletin (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).

The team then split into two again with a small group heading to the council depot at Tugun and the rest staying at the Tallebudgera Creek Caravan Park to process data, undertake research (Figure 3), and draw out the anchors that had been recorded (Figure 4).

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Figure 3: Wendy and Isabelle researching the Heroine (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).

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Figure 4: Mark and Dana drawing anchors (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).

At the council yard the work involved scale drawings of frames (Figure 5) and an articulated section including ceiling planking, stringer, frames and fasteners (Figure 6) as well as taking timber samples (Figure 7).

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 Figure 5: Lauren doing a scale drawing of a frame (Photo Amelia MacArthur Lacey 2014).

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Figure 6: Brad and Trevor recording the articulated section (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).

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Figure 7: Lauren taking timber samples (Photo Amelia MacArthur Lacey 2014).

The group that had stayed behind at the caravan park came for a visit to the council yards in the afternoon. With the extra hands we were able to turn to articulated section over and have a look on the exterior side. Planking, wale and a small section on sheathing were found on the exterior (Figure 8).

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Figure 8: Paddy and Lauren cleaning the exterior surface of the articulated section (Photo Wendy van Duivenvoorde 2014).

To end I would like to thank a wonderful group of people that helped with this project. The Gold Coast City Council, Kevin Rains and Jane Austen; the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Paddy Waterson, Amelia MacArthur Lacey, and Toni Massey; the Gold Coast and Hinterland Historical Society, John Burns and Bob Nancarrow, local residents, John Strano, Fred Lang Junior, and John Hogg; Cosmos Archaeology, Cos Coroneos, Dani Wilkinson, and Gina Scheer, Trevor Winton, Mark Polzer, Wendy van Duivenvoorde, baby Isabelle, Brad Guadagnin, Peta Fray, Dana Gilmore and Kate Greenwood.

And finally a last thank you to all the local residents of the Gold Coast who were very helpful and friendly.

Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum 2014 Day Four

Gold Coast Wreck Conservation Project – Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum.

Today we visited the beach at Coolangatta Creek where the shipwreck was recovered in 1974 to undertake a magnetometer survey (Figure 1) and metal detector survey (Figure 2) of this area. Guests from Cosmos Archaeology, Cos Coroneos, Danielle Wilkinson, and Gina Scheer, came along for the day to help investigate the site.

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Figure 1: Danielle, Cos, Dana and Kate undertaking the magnetometer survey (Photo Gina Scheer 2014).

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Figure 2: Trevor, Amelia and Kate completing the metal detector survey in Coolangatta Creek (Photo Gina Scheer 2014).

 After setting up the grid from the magnetometer survey (Figure 3 and 4) the team split with a group returning to Queen Elizabeth Park, Coolangatta to continue recording the shipwreck remains. Detailed drawings (Figure 5), timber recording forms (Figure 5) and timber samples (Figure 6) were taken.

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Figure 3: Toni and Amelia setting up the grid at Coolangatta Creek (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).

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Figure 4: Dana, Trevor and Danielle setting up grid at Coolangatta Creek (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).

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Figure 5: Mark, Toni and Jane doing a detailed drawing and Brad completing a timber recording form (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).

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Figure 6: Brad, Mark, Lauren and Jane taking timber samples (Photo Toni Massey 2014).

Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum 2014 Day Three

Gold Coast Wreck Conservation Project – Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum.

Today was the third day of work, or the middle of our field practicum and we recorded another section of shipwreck, this time at the Gold Coast and Hinterland Historical Society, Bundall. The shipwreck remains are part of a sculpture (Figure 1 & 2) constructed from what was thought to be Coolangatta. The work today would not have been possible without access to the remains provided by the Gold Coast and Hinterland Historical Society and help from president John Burns and volunteer Bob Nancarrow.

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Figure 1: The team in front of sculpture at the Gold Coast and Hinterland Historical Society (Photo Kate Greenwood 2014).

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Figure 2: Sculpture of shipwreck material (Photo Wendy van Duivenvoorde 2014).

Timber recording forms and photographs of the ten individual elements (both planking and frames) were used to record the remains (Figure 3) before samples were taken (Figure 4) and tracings and scale drawings (Figure 5) completed.

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Figure 3: Lauren Davison recording a frame fragment (Photo Toni Massey 2014).

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Figure 4: Wendy van Duienvoorde and Paddy Waterson taking timber samples (Photo Toni Massey 2014).

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Figure 5: Brad Guadagnin and Trevor Winton undertaking a scale drawing of Frame 2 (Photo Wendy 2014).

Completed at the same time as the shipwreck recording, with the help of Ashley Parker, was the entering of the shipwrecks artefacts at the historical society into a database, the Queensland Historic Shipwreck Relics Project, designed by Ashley himself to complete a register of the shipwreck artefacts at Bundall.

Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum 2014 Day Two

Gold Coast Wreck Conservation Project – Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum

Day two and we headed to Queen Elizabeth Park, Coolangatta to record an intact section of the shipwreck recovered in 1974 containing a wale, three hull planks, frames, fasteners and sheathing (Figure 1).

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Figure 1: Kevin Rains, Jane Austen, Wendy van Duivenvoorde, Peta Fray, Amelia MacArthur Lacey, Dana Gilmore with the intact section in Queen Elizabeth Park, Coolangatta (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).

Overall pictures and detailed photos of individual features were completed (Figure 2) and a scale drawing of the shipwreck section was completed using baseline offset survey (Figure 3). Patent marks were found on the sheathing with these features being recorded through rubbings (Figure 4) and photographs. Tracings were also taken of the sheathing and upper planks to find patterns in the holes (Figure 5).

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Figure 2: Kate Greenwood photographing the back of the section (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).

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Figure 3: Peta Fray and Lauren Davison baseline offset survey (Photo Toni Massey 2014).

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Figure 4: Dana Gilmore taking rubbings of the patent marks (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).

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Figure 5: Dana Gilmore and Kate Greenwood tracing copper sheathing and Brad Guadagnin, Peta Fray and Lauren Davison baseline offset survey (Photo Toni Massey 2014).

A slight change in staff for the afternoon. Paddy, Kate and Dana went to the Tweed Heads Historical Museum for historical research while Mark joined the group in Queen Elizabeth Park. Activities were similar to the morning with the scale drawing, tracing of timbers with the addition of recording the frames and fasteners undertaken by Mark and Brad (Figure 6).

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Figure 6: Brad Guadagnin and Mark Polzer recording frames (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).

The day ended with Trevor Winton from Jacobs Consulting and MAAWA joining us to help for the rest of the week.

Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum 2014

Gold Coast Wreck Conservation Project – Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum.

The Maritime Archaeology Field Practicum for 2014 is taking place on the Gold Coast, Queensland, where five students – Brad Guadagnin, Kate Greenwood, Peta Fray, Dana Gilmore and Lauren Davison – and two Flinders staff members, Wendy van Duivenvoorde and Mark Polzer (along with assistance from baby Isabelle), are recording and investigating a section of a shipwreck recovered in 1974. While popularly believed to be Coolangatta that wrecked in 1846, it has also been suggested that the remains are Heroine which wrecked in 1897.

Day one consisted of the usual introductory meeting and site induction where we met our partners from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Paddy Waterson, Amelia MacArthur Lacey and Toni Massey, and the Gold Coast City Council (GCCC), Kevin Rains and Jane Austen without whom this field practicum would not be possible.

A trip to the GCCC Depot was the order of the afternoon where we were given access to shipwreck remains which included frames, planking, anchors, and fasteners (Figure 1). Once familiar with the remains we soon got to work undertaking baseline offset survey (Figure 2), photography, and anchor recording (Figure 3).

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Figure 1: Shipwreck remains at the Gold Coast City Council Depot (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).

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Figure 2: Brad Guadagnin and Toni Massey undertaking Baseline offset survey (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).

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Figure 3: Recording anchors at GCCC Depot, Wendy van Duivenvoorde and Dana Gilmore (Photo Lauren Davison 2014).

Site Delineation with an Underwater Metal Detector

by Hunter Brendel, Master of Maritime Archaeology student

It is a certain fact that all field archaeologists are aware of – equipment does not always behave the way you want it to. Yet when it doesn’t, the opportunity for “McGuiverism” is there. During the Flinders 2013 field school at Port MacDonnell, we had certain technical issues with the magnetometer we were using. Luckily for us, the staff came prepared with underwater metal detectors. By using metal detectors, we were able to conduct transect surveys to delineate a possible shipwreck site on shore (Figure 1). Students used the metal detectors to detect pings that were then marked on a survey plan.

Figure 1. Myself (left) and fellow student Chelsea Colwell-Pasch (right) conducting a metal detector survey on shore during the 2013 Flinders University Maritime Archaeology field school.

Figure 1. Myself (left) and fellow student Chelsea Colwell-Pasch (right) conducting a metal detector survey on shore during the 2013 Flinders University Maritime Archaeology field school.

Later on, we used the same transect method to delineate our shipwreck, Hawthorn, which was located approximately 10 meters off shore. Since the wreck was in the surf, we students were able to replicate the transect survey techniques used on land by snorkeling and marking pings on a Mylar survey plan slate. All we needed to do was give a thumbs up every time we heard a ping, and our dive buddy was there to mark where the ping came from. Two other students held down the transect line and moved it every time we cleared a lap. Simple enough, yet effective in practice.

The Lighthouse Archeological Maritime Program (LAMP) devised a similar strategy for their 2014 Storm Wreck field season after experiencing magnetometer issues themselves. Brian McNamara, a fellow 2013 Flinders field school student and LAMP archaeologist, devised a plan to use a metal detector to delineate the Storm Wreck site. Only this time was different. Site conditions such as an eight meter depth of the site, poor visibility (really poor visibility), and chance for swells were unlike those we experienced in South Australia. Not to mention it had to be done on SCUBA.

So we hit the drawing board and came up with a plan to delineate the Storm Wreck site by using an underwater metal detector. I was to carry out the trial run by delineating a 10×10 meter area south of the Storm Wreck site (Figure 2). Listed are the materials we needed to SCUBA with to effectively carry out the underwater detector survey:

  1. A ten meter polypropylene transect line with every meter marked with a zip tie. At the five meter mark was a looped zip tie.
  2. Two fiberglass rods.
  3. Measuring tape.
  4. Down line with a diver flag attached to a buoy.
  5. A mushroom anchor to hold the down line and western end of the transect line.
  6. A weight belt and weights to hold the the eastern end of the transect line.
  7. Underwater metal detector.
  8. Mylar slate and pencils (lots of pencils) for a survey plan.
  9. SCUBA gear, cylinder, compass, etc.

First, my student dive buddy and I brought with us a mushroom anchor and down line with a diver flag attached to a buoy. Then we swam to a screw anchor that held southern end of the baseline in place. At the screw anchor, my student dive buddy held the middle loop of the polypropylene transect line in place. I swam east, end of the transect line in-hand, to stretch out the transect line, which I tied to the weight belt so that it was secure. I inserted one of the fiberglass rods through the weight belt as a reference marker. Using my compass, I ensured that the line was on an east-west, or 180 degree, bearing. I swam back to my dive buddy, stretched out the other half of the transect line, secured it to the mushroom anchor, and used my compass to make sure the east-west bearing was still accurate. I then planted the other fiberglass rod through the mushroom anchor.

Now the survey could start.

My dive buddy and I swam east-west along the ten meter transect line with the underwater metal detector in hand. Covering two meters to north and south of the transect line with the metal detector, we would pick up pings and then mark their location on the Mylar survey plan slate. As the designated metal detector holder (aka “Wielder of Truth”), I would tap my dive buddy’s mask every time I heard a ping and my dive buddy would mark its location on the slate. After we cleared the ten meter transect line, we would measure and move the line two meters south and repeat the survey. When five survey tracts were completed, we would have covered a 10×10 meter area south of the site.

Believe it or not, the metal detector survey to delineate the Storm Wreck was a resounding success. All students and supervisors had an opportunity to conduct the survey around the northern, eastern, western, and southern periphery of the Storm Wreck site. LAMP staff hope to superimpose the results of the survey on an up-to-date site plan of the wreck. Piece of cake.

Figure 2. “Trust me, I’m an archaeologist.”

Figure 2. “Trust me, I’m an archaeologist.”

Photo Journal of Project SAMPHIRE: The First Five Days – Oban to Rasaay

By: Chelsea Colwell-Pasch

Project SAMPHIRE is now in full swing as the team island hops along Scotland’s Western coast and islands aboard DVS Kylebhan (Figure 1). The team travelled from Oban, mainland Scotland, to the Isle of Rasaay in the first five days, conducting archaeological surveys both above and below the water and spanning Mesolithic sites to nineteenth Century shipwrecks.

Figure 1. DVS Kylebhan is a 20 metre (67 feet) trawler converted to a dive charter boat. It can accommodate 12 passengers and is very comfortable for the SAMPHIRE team of six plus the two crew (Photo by: Chelsea Colwell-Pasch)

Figure 1. DVS Kylebhan is a 20 metre (67 feet) trawler converted to a dive charter boat. It can accommodate 12 passengers and is very comfortable for the SAMPHIRE team of six plus the two crew (Photo by: Chelsea Colwell-Pasch)

This year’s Project SAMPHIRE has six potential archaeological sites slated for investigation, however other sites were and are still being located during the course of the field work and added to the Project’s mandate. This blog is a photo journal of the first five days of Project SAMPHIRE’s journey and archaeological investigations.

Day One: Oban to Tobermory (Isle of Mull)

Figure 2. The steam Northwest to Tobermory, Isle of Mull from Oban on mainland Scotland.

Figure 2. The steam Northwest to Tobermory, Isle of Mull from Oban on mainland Scotland.

Figure 3.  Prof. Kurt Lambeck (Australian National University, Canberra) presenting his lecture on glacial rebound in Scotland at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) (Photo by: Chelsea Colwell-Pasch).

Figure 3. Prof. Kurt Lambeck (Australian National University, Canberra) presenting his lecture on glacial rebound in Scotland at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) (Photo by: Chelsea Colwell-Pasch).

Figure 4. A ‘surprise’ unknown wreck at Tobermory, Isle of Mull, and our docking area for our first night (Photo by: Chelsea Colwell-Pasch). Figure 4. A ‘surprise’ unknown wreck at Tobermory, Isle of Mull, and our docking area for our first night (Photo by: Chelsea Colwell-Pasch).

Day Two: Tobermory (Isle of Mull) to Isle of Eigg, then to Canna

Figure 5. Our travels by sea to Eigg then Canna.

Figure 5. Our travels by sea to Eigg then Canna.

Figure 6. Prof. Karen Hardy from ICREA, Barcelona (far right) showing SAMPHIRE team members Bob MackIntosh (far left), Drew Roberts (middle-left), Chelsea Colwell-Pasch (middle-right) lithics found on her coastal survey of Eigg (Photo by: Jonathan Benjamin).

Figure 6. Prof. Karen Hardy from ICREA, Barcelona (far right) showing SAMPHIRE team members Bob MackIntosh (far left), Drew Roberts (middle-left), Chelsea Colwell-Pasch (middle-right) lithics found on her coastal survey of Eigg (Photo by: Jonathan Benjamin).

Figure 7. Galmisdale Harbour on the Isle of Eigg where the first site survey for Project SAMPHIRE was conducted (Photo by: Chelsea Colwell-Pasch).

Figure 7. Galmisdale Harbour on the Isle of Eigg where the first site survey for Project SAMPHIRE was conducted (Photo by: Chelsea Colwell-Pasch).

Day Three: Canna, Loch Bay, Dunvegan and Uig.

Figure 8. The steam North from Canna to Loch Bay, the site of the second wreck, Dunvegan the planned night dock and Uig the actual night docking area.

Figure 8. The steam North from Canna to Loch Bay, the site of the second wreck, Dunvegan the planned night dock and Uig the actual night docking area.

Figure 9. SAMPHIRE divers Drew Roberts (right) and John McCarthy (left) preparing to dive in Loch Bay on the second project site (Photo by Chelsea Colwell-Pasch).

Figure 9. SAMPHIRE divers Drew Roberts (right) and John McCarthy (left) preparing to dive in Loch Bay on the second project site (Photo by Chelsea Colwell-Pasch).

Figure 10. Chelsea Colwell-Pasch in Uig, Isle of Skye at 22:30 with daylight still visible (Photo by: Jonathan Benjamin).

Figure 10. Chelsea Colwell-Pasch in Uig, Isle of Skye at 22:30 with daylight still visible (Photo by: Jonathan Benjamin).

Day Four: Uig, Loch Bay and Portree, Isle of Skye

Figure 11. The steam from Uig back to Loch Bay, then the long steam to Portree, our port for the night.

Figure 11. The steam from Uig back to Loch Bay, then the long steam to Portree, our port for the night.

Figure 12. SAMPHIRE diver Bob MackIntosh diving in Loch Bay on the projects second site investigation (Photo by: Jonathan Benjamin).

Figure 12. SAMPHIRE diver Bob MackIntosh diving in Loch Bay on the projects second site investigation (Photo by: Jonathan Benjamin).

Figure 13. Dolphins ‘bow-riding’ our vessel Kylebhan on our way to Portree, Isle of Skye (Photo by: Jonathan Benjamin).

Figure 13. Dolphins ‘bow-riding’ our vessel Kylebhan on our way to Portree, Isle of Skye (Photo by: Jonathan Benjamin).

Figure 14. At dock in Portree, Isle of Skye after a long steam from Loch Bay (Photo by: Chelsea Colwell-Pasch).

Figure 14. At dock in Portree, Isle of Skye after a long steam from Loch Bay (Photo by: Chelsea Colwell-Pasch).

Day Five: Portree, Isle of Sky to Clachan Harbour, Isle of Raasay

Figure 15. The steam from Portree to Clachan Harbour, Isle of Raasay.

Figure 15. The steam from Portree to Clachan Harbour, Isle of Raasay.

Figure 16. Clachan Harbour on the Isle of Raasay where the SAMPHIRE team was investigating the area for submerged prehistoric sites (Photo by: Chelsea Colwell-Pasch).

Figure 16. Clachan Harbour on the Isle of Raasay where the SAMPHIRE team was investigating the area for submerged prehistoric sites (Photo by: Chelsea Colwell-Pasch).

Figure 17. Snorkel survey of Clachan Harbour, Raasay for Mesolithic occupation by SAMPHIRE volunteer Chelsea Colwell-Pasch (Photo by: Jonathan Benjamin).

Figure 17. Snorkel survey of Clachan Harbour, Raasay for Mesolithic occupation by SAMPHIRE volunteer Chelsea Colwell-Pasch (Photo by: Jonathan Benjamin).

We are not even halfway through our field work around Scotland’s Western Isles and already Project SAMPHIRE 2014 has been a huge success. Stay informed by following the Project on Twitter (#SAMPHIRE, @WAScotland, @WessexArch, @CColwellPasch) and by checking out the daily posts on the Projects Blog page: http://blogs.wessexarch.co.uk/samphire/