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Training Modules

© UNESCO/C. Doyal


Duration: 6 weeks

Main Topics

1. Introduction to the 2001 UNESCO Convention

  • Lecture: Basic principles of the 2001 Convention, legal and operational issues, advantages of ratification, Annex to the Convention on rules concerning activities directed at underwater cultural heritage. 


2. Introduction to Maritime Archaeology

® NAS Portsmouth, UK

  • Lecture: Definition of the archaeology, types of archaeological evidence, characteristics of underwater cultural heritage sites, artefact interpretation, and methods to date identification.


3. Introduction to 2D Site Surveying

® NAS Portsmouth, UK

  • Lecture: Purpose of survey, possible outcomes of survey, basic survey equipment, introduction to 2D archaeological survey methods, and drawing up the results.

  • Exercise: 2D survey practice dry session, 2D survey practice in the pool.


4. Introduction to Project Management

® NAS Portsmouth, UK

  • Lecture: Different types of project, importance of clear aims and objectives, different phases of an archaeological project, different aspects that need to be included in a plan, the sources of information that can be used in planning a project, and introduction to the practical examples.


5. Diving Safety and Project Logistics

® NAS Portsmouth, UK

  • Lecture: Different roles and responsibilities on a site, safety issues (i.e. risk assessments, codes of practice), general site safety and logistics, inter-tidal site and underwater site safety and logistics, diving recording systems.


6. Area Search and Survey Methods

® NAS Portsmouth, UK

  • Lecture: Diver search/survey methods, geophysical search / survey methods, and position fixing.


7. Introduction to Finds Handling / Problems with Waterlogged Materials

® NAS Portsmouth, UK

  • Lecture: Ethical considerations involved in raising finds, difficulties and other considerations for dealing with finds, first aid processes for finds, recording, packaging and lifting, and storage.

  • Practical exercise


8. Introduction to 3D Site Surveying

® NAS Portsmouth, UK

  • Lecture: Revision of 2D survey methods, the use of 2D survey methods for 3D survey, Direct Survey Method and processing the survey results.

  • Exercise: 3D surveying practice dry session.


9. Data Management

® NAS Portsmouth, UK

  • Lecture: Principles of post-fieldwork activity, interpretation of the site, the site archive, and disseminating the results.

  • Lecture: Digital recording systems, different types of recording systems and their requirements, different types of data sources, data information handling.


10. Iron and Steel Ship Construction and Site Formation

® NAS Portsmouth, UK

  • Lecture: introduction to iron and steel steam shipwrecks (IS&SS); construction of the  Ruea Mail shipwreck (Rayong Province, Thailand) used for field survey exercises during the Foundation Course.


11. Desk-based Assessments

  • Lecture: Principles of desk-based assessments, using primary and secondary source material, scope and limitations of such data, and their application to planning or management projects, using documentary sources and evaluating information and its relevance.

  • Exercise: Presenting the results of desk-based assessments in a format accessible to key audiences and stakeholders.


12. Significance Assessment

  • Lecture: Concept of significance assessment, cultural significance assessment, importance of significance assessment for underwater cultural heritage management, how to use archaeological impact assessments and conservation management plans, applying the information to their own assessments of a chosen site.


13. Material Culture Analysis

  • Lecture: Production (creation or making), technology (e.g. shipbuilding), function (use) and style – continuity and change, meaning, context, exchange (trade), consumption, transformation (changing use).


14. Archaeological Publication

  • Lecture: What is archaeological publication, the process involved in getting an article published, best practice for illustrating articles for publication, issues relating to copyright and permissions for the use of images


15. Finds Handling and Conservation

  • Lecture: Introduction to condition assessments, treatments, storing of rock, glass, ceramics, iron, copper, lead, silver, gold, aluminum and organic Materials, and first aids to finds


16. Public Archaeology

  • Lecture: Raising public awareness and involvement in safeguarding underwater cultural heritage


17. Museology

  • Lecture: Introduction to the museology, definition, its roles in underwater cultural heritage, exhibition, and management.

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Underwater Field Survey Exercises

(2 weeks)

Lectures on and application of the following:

  • Baseline and offsets

  • Ties to baseline for levelled profile bars

  • Site datum for vertical depth gauge measurements (cement in bow between stem and collision bulkhead)

  • GPS points were taken of buoy-lines tied to the bow and stern for putting into Site Recorder

  • Using photo scales for all underwater photographs

  • Seabed elevation/ profiles survey using depth gauge and site datum

  • Centreline/ baseline elevation survey using depth gauge survey and site datum

  • Port and starboard hull elevations using depth gauge survey and site datum

  • Taking sections/ profiles across wreck using levelled profile bars

  • Drawing using planning frame

  • Measuring and recording iron ship construction details (frames and spacing, rivets, plating, stem and sternpost dimensions)

  • Circular searches

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Region-Specific Topics

1. Asian Ship Technology (Theorem)

  • Lecture: introduction to the Asian ship technology, terminology, and structures.


2. Asian Ship Technology (Practicum)

  • Exercises: drawing and recording of an ethnographic boat


3. Asian Ceramics

  • Lecture (in the museum): introduction to Asian ceramics and its analysis, dating methods, trading routes.

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Group Projects

  • Country presentations

  • Drafting a management plan for the Ruea Mail Shipwreck

  • Preparation of a story board for the Ruea Mail Shipwreck

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