The primary scientific objective of the Black Sea Shipwreck Research Project is to explore and study archaeological materials that have been found on the shelf of the Black Sea. A particular focus has been recently placed on the excavation and study of a mediaeval shipwreck located in the Bay of Sudak. The practical focus of the project is to provide basic training in the field techniques of underwater archaeology, and to further the study of Ukrainian history and that of the Crimean Peninsula.
The field school is run by Kiev University Center for Underwater Archaeology (CUA); participants will learn how to survey and excavate underwater and how to handle, preserve and record artifacts in the field.
Students will also participate in other aspects of post-excavation activities, including the maintenance of their equipment. A number of lectures and field excursions will also take place. The topics of the lectures include:
- Introduction to underwater archaeology;
- Preliminary underwater survey work;
- Underwater excavation: methods, techniques and equipment;
- Recording of archaeological finds: photography, sampling, cataloguing;
- Special case studies in the Black Sea Region;
- Cultural history of the Crimean Peninsula;
- Geography of the Ukraine;
- Introduction to the Russian language.
All lectures will be presented by archaeologists and specialists from the Center for Underwater Archaeology, Kiev National University, Brown University, and other participating institutions. Knowledge of Russian or Ukrainian, though helpful, is certainly not required as the Ukrainian team members are proficient English speakers.
The objective of the training program is to provide practical hands-on training in underwater archaeology to experienced divers who have never done underwater archaeology before. The team will excavate and record the site area. Team members will participate in:
A reconnaissance study of the Sudak bay area and three locations near the Meganom Cape and Koktebel Bay (the eastern part of the coast)
A series of observations used to record and evaluate the supposed sites of the shipwrecks at the Meganom Cape and Koktebel Bay;
Measurements and excavations at the site of the 13th century shipwreck in the Green Bay (also part of the Bay of Sudak), until the natural sand level on the seabed is reached: the main goal for the 2007 season will be to look for wooden parts and hull of the ship;
Sampling of wooden parts and the collection of other archaeological material.
This is a very practical course, involving many important activities. Some of the team members will help the CUA in material processing and editing reports on expedition activities. Any additional knowledge and skills volunteers may possess are highly welcomed and will be incredibly helpful during the Project.