By Julie Mushynsky (MMA Student)
From May 16 to May 27, 2011 the South Australia Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) embarked on a Commonwealth funded project in the Investigator Strait off the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. Maritime Heritage Officer, Amer Khan and everyone’s favourite handyman, Ross “Mouse Whisperer” Cole of the Coastal Management Branch of DENR headed the project. Two volunteer researchers on board included Shea Cameron, a Flinders University Marine Biology student and me, a Flinders University Maritime Archaeology student. Kevin Jones, director of the South Australian Maritime Museum joined the group for a few days during the first week. Lastly, Assistant Director for Maritime Heritage for the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPAC), Andy Viduka also joined the group during the second week.
Perimeter fixing. Photo by: Amer Khan
It’s Friday and you know what that means – Master Classes! Today we ran a master class called “Ships as material culture.” This MC examined the “ship” as an artefact. From the wood it was constructed with to all of the fittings like winches, capstans, anchors and cannons, we explored their use, materials and positions on ships. A few fun exercises got the hearts racing. The first was to label the basic ship timbers in a frame-first constructed vessel. The second exercise was a bit more challenging and had a bountiful book prize. Participants were split into teams and given a ship model to label. Approximately fifty ship parts were on the list to be labelled with little stickers. Our winners were Lynda Bignell, Roger Halliday, Phyllis Coxhill and Maddy McCallister. Congratulations!
I think everyone walked away with a finer appreciation of ship construction. When you next see Lynda, Roger, Phyllis and Maddy ask them what a “cathead” is and I’m sure the will enlighten you.
Phyllis and Maddy hard at work labeling
Hello from Mannum on the river. We are here recording small river watercraft for Phyllis Coxhill’s Honours thesis project. So far we’ve taken the lines off both the port and starboard sides and are taking scantling measurements of timbers. It’s been a challenge trying to measure the boat with another boat over our heads. Lots of bumps on our heads.
The two boats in the photograph are called punts. They’d be used for travelling and fishing and other activities. They are flat-bottomed with no keel and have a hard chine. The interesting bits are the repairs and alterations made during its working life. We’ll be looking for and recording those too.
By Pete Colvin
Each year Flinders University runs a maritime archaeology field school as a part of its commitment to student skills development. This year was no exception: from the 31st January to 12th February 2011, an intensive period of field work was conducted in the Mount Dutton Bay region. In previous visits made to this area Mount Dutton Bay was known to have significant historic and maritime cultural heritage potential. It was from these previous visits that the 2011 field school developed, its aim was to conduct further survey and excavation work on the historic shipwreck Caprice and to further develop and understand the maritime cultural landscape of the area.
Mt. Dutton Bay Maritime Archaeology Field School students and staff, 2011
Peter Christopher talking about Australian Shipwrecks
Where: The Box Factory Community Centre, Adelaide, on Friday 19th November from 6.30 pm.
SUHR’s AGM and Christmas Party (and a sad farewell to Sam Bell and Matt Hanks!)
Where: The Box Factory community Centre on Monday 6th December from 6 pm.
We look forward to seeing everyone at the lecture and AGM!
Drinks and light refreshment will be provided.
For more information contact