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Maritime Field School 2003

The University of West Florida will be conducting a 12-week maritime archaeology field methods course between May 5 and August 1, 2003. Selected students will participate in the excavation and survey of four relatively well-preserved ships (the Shield's Point Vessels) that are representative of the last great wooden shipbuilding boom in the United States. Three of these hulls were constructed on the Gulf Coast between 1916 and 1921 while the fourth was built in Oregon. Tentatively identified as the Palafox, Dinty Moore, George T. Locke, and Guanacaste, the four vessels, when examined together, offer archaeologists examples of local building traditions, as well as providing a comparison to techniques used elsewhere. The project will require excavation, mapping, artifact recovery, conservation and analysis to document construction, function, and the proper identification of each vessel. In addition to learning underwater archaeological excavation and mapping techniques on the Shield's Point vessels, students will also have the opportunity to assist in a remote-sensing survey of the Blackwater River and rotate from the field to UWF's conservation laboratory. While on-campus, students will participate in the conservation and laboratory analysis of recovered material from a variety of Pensacola's shipwrecks. When not diving, students will perform topside duties such as dive tending and support, artifact recording, and database entry.