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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Caribbean - Dominican Republic - ADMAT's 2013 Monte Cristi Maritime Archaeological Project - 2013

Caribbean - Dominican Republic - ADMAT's 2013 Monte Cristi Maritime Archaeological Project - 2013

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Start Date 2013-01-19
End Date 2013-12-07

Multiple Sessions Yes
Multiple Session information Please see ADMAT's web page for full details on the two shipwreck projects, The Tile Wreck and The Island Wreck.
Archaeology Field School Location
ADMAT's Maritime Archaeological Center Playa Costa Verde Monte Cristi Dominican Republic

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution
Anglo-Danish Maritime Archaeological Team (ADMAT) and ADMAT-FRANCE with Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle at Paris, départememt Préhistoire, UMR-CNRS 7194.
Academic Credit
ADMAT and NAS credits will be given
Archaeology Field School Tuition
Full training will be given. No prior maritime archaeological experiance is necessary. Training on ADMAT's Underwater Survey Diver Course or ADMAT's Proton Magnetometer Course will be given, as well as ADMAT's Artefact Handling course
Archaeology Field School Room and Board
Accommodation will be at ADMAT's Maritime Archaeological Centre in Monte Cristi. Full board included. Additional information is available on the project website .
Archaeology Field School Travel
Each Team member/volunteer/student will be required to fly into the Dominican Republic at one of the selected airports at their own cost. They will be met at the airport.
Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs
Full details for The Tile Wreck and Island Wreck projects are on ADMAT's web page

Archaeology Field School Description

ADMAT & ADMAT-FRANCE are running a Maritime Archaeological Project from 19th January 2013 to December 2013 to continue the Survey work on The Tile Wreck 1720's wreck as well as a new wreck called The Island Wreck in Monte Cristi, in the Dominican Republic. The work is being carried out for the Oficina Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural Subacuatico (ONPCS) the Government department. This project will instruct students survey and exploration techniques as well as documentation of artifacts. This is open for all students or volunteers over 18 years of age, with a minimum qualification of PADI Advanced Open Water / BSAC Sports Diver or equivalent. The project language is English. Two week slots available.

The Tile Wreck:

Project Overview: For most of 2006 and in part in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, this wreck was subject to an intensive archaeological survey. The new information expanded the original survey conducted in 2000 and yielded over 2,000 artefacts, three iron cannons, three anchors and many important French faience ware sherds. Research in Paris led by Dr Francois Gendron and Dr. Jean Rosen from CNRS, has confirmed that the faience ware came from the "Nevers" foundry and dates the sinking of this wreck between 1720 and 1723.

History of activities on the Wreck:

The wreck is called The Tile Wreck, due to the cargo which was found in the lower hull. Thousands of terracotta square floor tiles were found, together with shaped and pre cut granite blocks. Clearly the cargo was intended to build something significant as the sheer cost of shipping building materials from Europe to the New World was very costly. In late 1999 the site was attacked by looters, who removed seven iron cannons from the site and it was decided that an interim survey was required, to ascertain the nationality and nature of the surviving sections of the shipwreck. This was undertaken in 2000, and followed up in 2006 with a major survey and partial excavation. During the 2006 survey, many pottery sherds were found, indicating a possible French cargo. The lower hull construction remains and provides an excellent insight into the ship construction of the late 1690s to early 1700s. The keelson, mast step, floors and ceiling are mainly intact for the central section.

Field School Objectives & Methodology:  

The objectives for the 2013 season, are to expand the survey to locate, the bow cant and stern cant frames. The team will also work in the lab recording the artefacts already recovered using the specially designed databases. For the diving team, their time will be split between diving days and recording days on an equal basis. During the diving days, the team will measure and record the remaining structure and archaeological training will be given on survey equipment and various relevant archaeological lectures will also be run, weather and time permitting. This is a very active field school, with as much diving as we can do. All team members will be expected to muck in and take active part in all tasks.  

The Island Wreck Project Overview:

A RECCE was undertaken by ADMAT in 2010 and a partial survey in the summer of 2012. Three anchors, two sugar presses, piles of iron concreted cannons (we believe 6 poinders and 24 pounders)ballast stones of all sizes, blue flints iron bolts and 74 pre cut granite blocks have already been located in the shallows. The main section of the wreck has not yet been located. The wreck is located in 2-3 meters of beautiful coral reef on the fringe reef off one of the Severn Brother Islands in Monte Cristi Bay. The current initial hypothesis being that the ship sunk around 1720’s and was sailing from the east to the west along the north coast. The ship appears to be carrying brand new unused iron cannons as well as building precut granite stone blocks possibly for the construction of the French fort at Cape Francais. The ship may also have been sailing in convoy with The Tile Wreck, which was also wrecked in Monte Cristi.

Field School Objectives & Methodology:

The objectives for the 2013 season, are to expand the survey to locate the remains of the ships hull which is believed to be between the reef and the island.

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type
Nautical, Historic, Caribbean, Maritime, Shipwreck, Underwater,
Time Period
Field School Setting/Conditions
Location: The field school is located in ADMAT's Maritime Archaeological Centre in Monte Cristi, on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The team will be travelling from the accommodation to the boats which are situated at the Club Nautico, to the Tile Wreck which is is about a mile away through the mangroves, and The Island Wreck which is 10 miles out to sea by a desert island.

What is the daily schedule for the field school
See ADMAT's web page for this.
Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
11 years
Is there a professional certification for this field school
ADMAT's course certification will be given. For NAS members points will be given for their stage 2 and stage 3.
Directors and Instructors
Dr. Simon Spooner, Dr. Francois Gendron, May Loo, Raimund Krob & John Downing
Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn
Team Development Participants will receive regular formal training (ADMAT's Underwater Survey Diver course or Proton Magnetometer Diver course unique to ADMAT) and artefact handling with informal teaching on Maritime Archaeological practices, some are listed in the course details below. All students will be required to take part in all activities, equipment, maintenance, survey plans and photography. This is very much a team activity. The more you put in the more you will get out of this project. This is a diving archaeological project, and participants will be required to dive/work on land as well as underwater. For non divers there is the Artefact Handling Course, which takes students step by step the recording process of the artefacts. This course will be run in addition to the diving courses. Training in the principles of Maritime Archaeology and survey will be given to all participants during the project. Basic training in the following where applicable: Underwater Mapping & Surveys, The Principles of Artefact In-Situ Recording, Artefact Registration, and archaeological Photography, and Aquapulse metal detectors, principals of Proton Magnetometer, Ship construction.
On rain days will there be lab work?
Yes there will be lab work and diving unless the waves are too large.
Will there be additional organized activities?
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. Simon Q Spooner

Field School Contact E-mail:
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