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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Atlantic Ocean - Bermuda - Field School in Maritime Archaeology - 2016

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2016-07-25
End Date 2016-08-12

Archaeology Field School Location

National Museum of Bermuda/Bermuda Maritime Museum

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution

University of Rhode Island
Institute for Western Maritime Archaeology

Academic Credit

Students will receive 3-6 undergraduate or graduate credits in history

Archaeology Field School Tuition


Archaeology Field School Room and Board


Archaeology Field School Travel
Inclusive, except for airfare
Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs

Includes food, lodging, ground transportation, tanks, weights, air fills.

Archaeology Field School Description

The Summer Field School in Maritime Archaeology is a research expedition conducted in Bermuda by faculty of 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 25 – Aug 12, 2016. 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 2016 is to continue our reconnaissance surveys to identify the locations of previously unstudied historic shipwrecks, as well as to conduct 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 3-6 undergraduate or graduate credits in history. The field school meets many of the fieldwork requirements for anthropology and archaeology majors at universities in the United States and beyond.

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 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 the University of Rhode Island if a student’s home college or university is not affiliated with AAUS. Contact Dr. Mather or Dr. Allan (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 Roderick Mather of the University of Rhode Island History Department ,

or Professor James M. Allan at, who are the co-directors of the program.

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type


Time Period

16th-19th centuries

Field School Setting/Conditions

The Dockyard is situated on the Bermuda's West End. It is a restored, 19th century naval facility that supported the British Royal Navy in the Western Atlantic between American independence and the Cold War. In addition to the National Maritime Museum, numerous restaurants and shops are now situated within the Dockyard grounds. The City of Hamilton, one of Bermuda's two principal cities, is located a short ferry ride across Bermuda's Great Sound.

How is the project area accessed each day

Students will travel to the research site(s) and back each day via boat.

What is the daily schedule for the field school

Monday through Sunday, with occasional days off.

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


Directors and Instructors

Roderick Mather, Ph.D.
James M. Allan, Ph.D.
Stephen Smith, Ph.D.
Anya Watson

Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn

• Survey
• Underwater mapping/documentation
• Artifact Analysis
• Artifact conservation
• Archival research

On rain days will there be lab work?

Yes, or a day off

Will there be additional organized activities?

Students will have time for some sightseeing and will participate in Bermuda's Cup Match national holiday.

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. Roderick Mather
University of Rhode Island
Dept. of History
113 Washburn Hall
Kingston, RI 02881

Field School Contact E-mail:
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