Category Archives: Field School

Archaeology Field School Proves Challenging But Fun!

This blog was provided by Chris McCarron, one of the supervisors participating in this year’s underwater archaeology field school program.

IMG_2686The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum is currently under way with its annual underwater archaeology field school as students dive off the coast of St. Augustine to find long lost artifacts from colonial era North America. This year’s roster includes five students from the United States and Canada, all with different fields of academic studies and a shared interest in finding and preserving history.

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Lighthouse’s Underwater Archaeology Field School Begins Monday

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Archaeologists from the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum will begin their annual field school in St. Augustine on June 1st with six students from around the world.

ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA. – Six students from as far away as Canada have arrived in St. Augustine, Fla., for the educational experience of a lifetime. Beginning June 1st, the students will join archaeologists from the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum for four weeks of hands-on, underwater research and excavation on historic St. Augustine shipwrecks.

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Students inspect artifacts during a practice dive in Alexander Springs, Fla.

“St. Augustine is such a unique place. We have so many shipwrecks out there that it’s like an underwater archaeology laboratory offshore,” said Chuck Meide, Director of the museum’s Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP). “The lighthouse is one of the very few places that hosts an underwater archaeology field school, where students learn how to excavate a shipwreck diving side by side with professional archaeologists. There are probably only one or two other maritime archaeology field schools running in the country, so this is a pretty unique opportunity.” Continue reading

2015 LAMP Underwater Archaeology Field School Now Accepting Applications!

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The summer field season is almost upon us, and the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum’s research arm, the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP), is now accepting applications for our 2015 Field School Program. Read on to see full details and requirements for this year’s field school!

  • 2015 Dates: June 1st – 26th
  • Location: St. Augustine, Fla.
  • Research Focus: The “Storm Wreck” is a 1782 British Loyalist shipwreck located just off the shores of St. Augustine. Excavation on this site first began in 2010. This year, students will work with lighthouse archaeologists to map the site through recording and recovering artifacts from the wreck.
  • Skills, Procedures & Lectures: Students will also be instructed in scientific diving procedures, archaeological recording and excavation, the use of hydraulic probes and induction dredges, marine remote sensing survey and analysis (magnetometer & side scan sonar), artifact collection and documentation and basic conservation laboratory methodology. Additionally, the field school will host an evening lecture series with instructors and visiting professionals from various public, private and academic institutions throughout Florida.

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Field School Update: Obstacles, Buttons and Diving

The 2014 LAMP Field School season is nearly at its halfway point.
The students have come a long way from blindly fumbling around obstacle courses at the bottom of a pool to performing real underwater archaeology on a revolutionary war era ship wreck.

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The Storm Wreck excavation is underway and everyone is hopeful for the potential discoveries.
The true identity of the vessel has yet to be discovered, but it has been narrowed down to one of sixteen possible ships that wrecked roughly a mile of the shore of St. Augustine on December 31, 1782.
Over the past four years, volunteer students from across the country have spent their summers with the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum working to uncover the ship’s last moments. So far, everything from cannons to sail cloth has been recovered on the site. Although much of the site still remains buried beneath the sand, some of the smallest finds have revealed the most information.
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Two military buttons from the Scottish 71st Regiment and the Colonial militia the ‘Royal Provincials’ represent the link between the ship’s passengers and the last fleet to leave South Carolina following the fall of Charleston to American troops during the final years of the revolutionary war.
The students of LAMP are the first people to touch these artifacts in nearly 320 years, and the significance is not lost on them. With two weeks left to go in the field school season, there are still potentially countless of personal artifacts left to find beneath the waves!
- Chris McCarron (University of Alabama – Birmingham) and Maddy Roth (St. Mary’s College of Maryland)

LAMP’s 2014 Field School in the News

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Today was the first day of the 2014 Field School! Eleven students from across the U.S., from Oregon and Colorado to Florida and Vermont, arrived this weekend and this morning we all assembled at the Lighthouse for the first day of their training. This morning was orientation and paperwork, followed by an introductory lecture on maritime and underwater archaeology. Then the students rotated through different stations, where they practiced skills ranging from knot-tying to underwater search patterns, archaeological recording, setting up and using baselines for horizontal and vertical mapping, and compass use.
News travels fast in St. Augustine! The Field School students were highlighted in today’s issue of Historic City News:

Archaeologists from the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum will begin their annual field school in St. Augustine on June 2nd with sixteen undergrad and graduate college students from around the world and as far away as Australia.
This year, students will be diving on a 1782 British Loyalist shipwreck located one mile off St. Augustine’s historic coast. Lighthouse archaeologists have been excavating this wreck since 2010. Artifacts recovered from the ship have helped the team piece together the story of British Loyalists who evacuated Charleston, S.C., near the end of the American Revolution.
“Field school is a great opportunity for college students to get experience with all the aspects of archaeological research,” said Chuck Meide, Director of the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP). “Our training is unique in that we are one of very few organizations that can provide underwater excavation experience.”
The 2014 student roster includes Molly Trivelpiece (Longwood University), Hannah Lucke (University of Puget Sound), Bridget Stanton (Flagler College), Leeah Worley (Lycombing College), James Kinsella (University of Central Florida), Christopher McCarron (University of Alabama, Birmingham), Madeline Roth (St. Mary’s College of Maryland), Michael Reese (University of Colorado), Chandler von Cannon (Flagler College), Eden Andes (Florida State University) and Allyson Ropp (University of North Carolina, Asheville).
The students have arrived in St. Augustine for the educational experience of a lifetime. For the next four weeks, they will undergo hands-on, underwater research and excavation on historic shipwrecks.

Click here to read the entire article!