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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Australia - Maritime Archaeology Field School - 2015

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2015-02-01
End Date 2015-02-15

Archaeology Field School Location

Phillip Island - Victoria, Australia

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution

Flinders University

Academic Credit

Getting credit for a short course

Flinders University Students receive 4.5 units of credit towards their degree.

Overseas Participants receive a Certificate of Achievement which states that the short course is equivalent to the completion of the Flinders University topic ARCH3309/8152, a 4.5-unit topic. Participants should be able to use this to negotiate their own credit transfer with their home institution.

Non-Flinders University Australian Students also receive a Certificate of Achievement which states that the short course is equivalent to the completion of the Flinders University topic, ARCH3309/8152. You should be able to receive credit at your home institution equivalent to the value of a 4.5-unit Flinders University postgraduate topic. If you wish to have this unit of study credited to your home university degree, you should check that the Certificate of Achievement will suffice for the purpose, as we are unable to issue an academic transcript.

Archaeology Field School Tuition

There are different costs associated with this course depending on your enrolment:

Flinders University Students
Flinders students should enrol in the Field School topic ARCH3309/ARCH8152 through the normal enrolment process. Please note a quota will apply to this topic which will require you to contact the Topic Coordinator prior to enrolment.

a. The normal 4.5-unit topic fee for archaeology (students may choose to defer payment via HECS) will apply. Enrolled international students are liable for normal international tuition fees.

b. In addition to the standard tuition fees there is a AU$750 fee for the field school.
This fee covers the cost of local transportation from Adelaide to Phillip Island, transportation on the island, accommodation on Phillip Island, and a few other student related expenses.

Overseas Participants (international short course participants)
a. AU$3000 tuition fee (inclusive of GST).
b. AU$750 fee for the field school. This fee covers the cost of local transportation, accommodation, and a few other student related expenses.

Non-Flinders University Australian Students (domestic short course participants)
a. AU$1750 postgraduate topic fee (inclusive of GST).
b. AU$750 fee for the field school.
This fee covers the cost of transportation, accommodation, and a few other student related expenses.

Paying your field work costs
Please pay your field work costs by forwarding an international money order made out to “Flinders University”. If in Australia, you may forward a cheque from an Australian bank or money order. Cheques and money orders should be forwarded to Wendy van Duivenvoorde.

To pay by credit card for this field school please click the following link Pay now by Credit card

Cancellation and Refund policy
A refund for field school payments will only be granted if the cancellation of attendance is received via email to 14 days prior to the field school. There will be no refunds after this date unless accompanied by a medical certificate.

We endeavour to ensure that all information on the field school website and printed material is accurate.
However changes may occur without notice and the topic coordinators and field school organisers accept no responsibility for losses incurred by attendees.

Archaeology Field School Room and Board

Students and staff will be staying at the Anchorage Caravan Park near Ventnor on Phillip Island. It is their your joint responsibility to cater for themselves, which meant arranging food purchases and taking turns cooking and cleaning for their group. They allow about $10-15 per person, per day for food. The Anchorage Caravan Park has a communal kitchen in which meals could be cooked and eaten. This communal living area is also used by other visitors of the caravan park. Work space will be provided on-site.

There is a general store with EFTPOS (ATM) facilities at caravan park. Regular trips by the staff were made to buy food and other supplies.

Archaeology Field School Description

Maritime archaeologists from Heritage Victoria inspected the McHaffie Reef shipwreck sites in the 1980s and confirmed that one of them dates possibly to the mid 19th century. The vessel’s remains are partially intact, are of wooden construction, and have an estimated length of 20 yards. In 2012, the student relocated the shipwreck site and tentatively identified its remains as from the Leven Lass. The ship ran aground on Phillip Island to save its cargo after the vessel had sprung a leak in 1854. The archaeological evidence, i.e., construction materials, cargo, vessel size, and wrecking location all correspond to evidence gathered during archival research. The goals of the 2014 field school were to map the possible remains of Leven Lass, and to date, identify, and record other shipwrecks on McHaffie Reef, and facilitate further maritime archaeological studies of Western Port Bay.

Non-diving students enrolled in the 2015 field school will survey the remains of the steel ship Speke and record its construction details. This large, three-masted steel ship capsized on the southwest side of Phillip Island, where its bow is still a prominent feature on the beach.

The topic has previously been taught at Port MacDonnell, South Australia (2013), on Phillip Island, Victoria (2012, 2014), Magnetic Island (1998 and 1999), at Port Victoria, South Australia (2001 and 2002), Port Arlington, Victoria (2004), Sarah Island and Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania (2005), Mount Dutton Bay on the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia (2006 and 2011), Victor Harbor on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia (2007 and 2009).

Topic Aims
This topic aims to:

develop the field skills associated with the practice of underwater archaeology;
improve understanding of the methodological approaches to archaeology underwater;
increase knowledge and understanding of the history and practice of maritime archaeology;
appreciate the place and role of maritime archaeology in the interpretation of maritime subcultures and culture in the wider context.

Topic Outcomes
On completing this topic students will be able to:

demonstrate acquired field skills necessary for the practice of underwater archaeology;
define the different methodological approaches of archaeology underwater and demonstrate them in appropriate situations;
recognize the historical and practical significance of the field of maritime archaeology;
identify and explain the role of maritime archaeology in the interpretation of maritime subcultures and culture in the wider context.

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type


Field School Setting/Conditions


The 2015 Maritime Archaeology Field School
The Maritime Archaeology Field School was held on Phillip Island, Victoria in 2012 and 2014.

Both times, the topic was run in cooperation with Heritage Victoria. Phillip Island is located about 140km kilometres south/southeast of Melbourne and forms a natural barrier for the waters of Western Port. The 2012 and 2014 Flinders University maritime archaeology field schools included a shipwreck survey of McHaffie Reef plus a study of a land-based shipwreck Speke (1891–1906) and maritime infrastructure around the island.

What is the daily schedule for the field school

Course Outline
Course Outline & Schedule

Students are expected to have completed ARCH8157 Methods in Underwater Archaeology prior to departure for the field school.

Schedule of Events
Saturday 31 January: Day off, prepare for departure

Sunday 1 February: Transportation from Adelaide to Phillip Island, Victoria, unpack vehicles and set up house.

Monday 2 February–Friday 13 February:

Students will be organized into teams of four members and each team will be assigned team supervisors.
Each day divers will work on a number of maritime sites where they will undertake pre-disturbance survey and geophysical survey, both underwater and in the intertidal zone. All work will be weather dependent.
Each evening the weather and activities will be assessed and your group will be assigned a site/project to work on the following day. This requires a great deal of flexibility on your part, as weather and personnel often demand changes in schedules.
Each evening there will be a thirty minute debriefing session during which we discuss the activities of the day and the planned activities for the following day. This will be an opportunity to discuss any issues with teams, diving, safety, and equipment. These sessions are mandatory.
Every other evening we will have a thirty minute lecture by archaeologists, graduate students, local historians, and biologists. These lectures are mandatory and will enhance your field school experience. Evenings should be spent working on reports and projects which will be due at 5pm, 13 February—NO EXCEPTIONS.

Saturday 14 February: Travel from Phillip Island, Victoria, to Adelaide, South Australia, and unpack equipment.

Directors and Instructors


Jonathan Benjamin
Lecturer in Maritime Archaeology
Click here for more information on Jonathan

Jonathan is the main contact for all queries about this Field School.

Room 280 Humanities
Phone: 08 8201 5875

John Naumann
Technical Officer
Click here for more information on John

Room 142 Social Sciences South
Phone: 08 8201 5533

Team Members:

Kurt Bennett (Post-graduate student, Flinders University)
Maddy Fowler (PhD candidate, Flinders University)
Peter Harvey (Manager Maritime Archaeology, Heritage Victoria)
Gay Lacsina (PhD candidate, Flinders University)
Jane Mitchell (Maritime Archaeology, Heritage Victoria)
Chelsea Pasch (Post-graduate student, Flinders University)

The team is subject to change

Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

Please contact Dr Jonathan Benjamin
+61 8 8201 5875

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

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