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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Atlantic - Bermuda - Field School in Maritime Archaeology - 2014

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2014-07-21
End Date 2014-08-07

Archaeology Field School Location

National Museum of Bermuda
Ireland Island

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution

Saint Mary's College of California
University of Rhode Island

Academic Credit

Full Course Credit

Archaeology Field School Tuition

$3,800 (est.)

Archaeology Field School Room and Board


Archaeology Field School Travel
Airfare to Bermuda
Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs

All expenses except airfare to and from Bermuda are included in the tuition (except for personal expenditures).

Archaeology Field School Description

The Summer Field School in Maritime Archaeology is a joint research expedition conducted in Bermuda by faculty of Saint Mary's College of California and the University of Rhode Island. The field school is a research-based learning experience that will expose students to a variety of activities including archival research, artifact conservation, archaeological survey, and underwater excavation and documentation of historic shipwrecks.

The field school will be conducted from July 21 – Aug 7, 2014. Students will participate in each of three research modules over the course of the field school: archaeological survey and documentation of historic shipwrecks, archival research in the Bermuda National Archives, and laboratory training in the museum's conservation facility. Students will attend periodic evening lectures on such topics as archaeological methods, archaeological survey (magnetometer and visual survey), ship construction, site excavation and mapping, analysis of archaeological data, conservation of waterlogged artifacts.

The National Museum of Bermuda will host the field school. Bermuda is an island about 20 miles long located 650 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The island was visited by Spanish mariners during the 16th century but was not settled until the 17th century, when English colonists started to migrate to the New World. For hundreds of years, navigators used the island as a final sighting before they headed out across the Atlantic. Today, the island’s economy is based on offshore banking and tourism, the latter being an industry enhanced by the warm clear waters and extensive reef system that surround the island.

Our focus in 2014 is to complete the excavation and documentation of a late 18th/early 19th century merchant vessel now thought to have been lost (based on our 2013 field school results) on the Bermuda reefs in 1837, as well as the preliminary investigation of a 17th century wreck associated with Bermuda’s early settlement.

Course enrollment is limited to 12 students due to housing and boat limitations. Students will receive a one-course upper division anthropology credit. The field school meets the fieldwork requirement for anthropology majors, or may be counted as an upper division anthropology elective. There are no academic prerequisites, and prior archaeological experience or knowledge of Bermuda is not required, but all participants in the field school must obtain both a recreational Open Water scuba certification and an American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) Scientific Diver-in-Training certification prior to the beginning of the field school and must have their own (or rented) diving equipment (tanks and weights will be provided). Any recognized recreational scuba certification (PADI, NAUI, SSI) will be acceptable. AAUS Scientific Diver-in-Training Certification can be arranged through either Saint Mary’s College or the University of Rhode Island if a student’s home college or university is not affiliated with AAUS. Contact Dr. Allan or Dr. Mather (see below) to discuss arrangements for this training.

For an application or additional information regarding application procedures, tuition, AAUS certification and travel, please log on to or contact Professor James M. Allan of the Saint Mary’s College Anthropology Department or Professor Roderick Mather of the University of Rhode Island History Department , who are the co-directors of the program.

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type


Time Period

17th-19th centuries

Field School Setting/Conditions

The Bermuda Maritime Museum, which hosts the field school, is situated in the Old Naval Dockyard on Ireland Island, the western point of Bermuda

How is the project area accessed each day

Students are conveyed daily to the dive site(s) via a Museum provided and a contracted dive boat.

What is the daily schedule for the field school

Work is conducted daily with occasional days off for inclement weather, and as the need arises.

Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
Is there a professional certification for this field school


Directors and Instructors

Dr. James M. Allan, Ph.D. RPA
Dr. Roderick Mather, Ph.D.
Dr. Stephen Smith, PH.D. (SMC Diving Safety Officer)
Ms. Anya Watson (URI Diving Safety Officer)

Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn

Archival Research
Artifact Conservation
Maritime History
Archaeological Methodology
Archaeological Theory
Excavation and Documentation of Submerged Resources

On rain days will there be lab work?

Possibly-- depending on workload. Rain days may also be utilized as days off.

Will there be additional organized activities?

Yes, Students will be able to participate in Cup Match, Bermuda's national holiday, as well as occasional days off to tour the islands.

Will there be additional organized activities?


Is travel restriced during free time?


Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

Dr. James M. Allan
Anthropology Department
St. Mary's College of California
1928 St. Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575

Field School Contact E-mail:
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Field School Contact Website:

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