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10/25/07 Lecture: The Early Days of Nautical Archaeology

UPDATED with pictures from the event included below . . .

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Dr. Switzer, a pioneer in the field of nautical archaeology, will be talking about three early projects he was closely involved with. The techniques developed on these sites in the 1960s and 1970s led directly to the methods used today by LAMP archaeologists exploring shipwrecks off St. Augustine, our nation's oldest port.

(UPDATED with pictures from the talk below)

“The Early Days of Nautical Archaeology at Work in Three Locations:
the Bay of Fundy, Cyprus; and Turkey”

The three sites in question represent three types of merchant vessels that were excavated in the 1960s and 1970s, an early stage in the development of nautical archaeology as a scientific discipline. In the frigid waters of Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy (Canada) are 19th century sailing vessels and an early 20th century freighter. Off the island of Kyrenia, Cyprus a 3rd century BC wreck was excavated, raised, reconstructed and a sailing replica built. The waters off Yassi Ada, a fly-speck-sized island near the south west coast of Turkey, is the “home” to two Byzantine wrecks; the oldest dates to the 4th century AD. The Kyrenia ship and the Yassi Ada vessel, though they sailed seven centuries apart, both carried dry cargo and wine in amphoras (these ceramic containers were vital to Mediterranean trade and were the precursors to the olive jars found on Spanish shipwrecks in Florida waters) . Off Grand Manan countless merchant vessels, of similar types that would have visited St. Augustine in the 19th century, came to grief in freezing waters that preserved cargos of railroad iron, scotch whiskey, and other goods. Each of these far-flung locales offered unique challenges to archaeologists, and all yielded information important to our knowledge of ancient and more recent maritime history regarding trade and vessel construction methods. The lessons learned and the methods developed during these early expeditions have shaped the course of underwater archaeological fieldwork over the decades, providing the institutional tools used by LAMP archaeologists working closer to home in St. Augustine waters.

Admission is free; please call and reserve your space to Pam at (904) 829-0745 ext 224. For more information on educational programs or maritime archaeology at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum visit www.staugustinelighthouse.com.

This presentation will count towards the 100-hour required training for LAMP dive volunteers wishing to progress from Diver-in-Training to Active Scientific Diver status.

This lecture is an installment of the First Coast Maritime Archaeology Project Lecture Series. The First Coast Maritime Archaeology Project is funded in part by the State of Florida, Division of Historical Resources.
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UPDATE:

Dr. Switzer's talk was a great success--we had 38 people show up and everyone really seemed to have a great time! We can't wait to have him back. Check out these pictures taken during Dave's talk . . .

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