Diving Week. Hemmoor, Germany

21 11 2009
Underwater scaffolding

Underwater scaffolding or where not to put a scaffold frame (Hemmoor dive training week Fall 2009)

The diving team (participants in the commercial diving course) of the first year students in the Maritime Archaeology Masters Programme had the first diver training week in Hemmoor Lake. It was the best team-building event ever!

Yes, it was a little bit cold, and of course a little bit tiresome…But we enjoyed every minute! Everything is exciting when it is the first time. Dry suit, tethered or untethered diving, orientation by using compass, rescue drills, lifting objects with lifting bags, constructing a frame underwater… And if you have the strength to continue with the night dive, the universe rewards you with a full moon!!!

Communication between divers and surface was amazing,  learning new vocabulary, use short and clear sentences. The most important was, that day by day we started to realize that no matter what role one has in the team (diver, stand-by diver, tender or supervisor) the key word is RESPONSIBILITY. I suppose that this way and step by step we will become professionals, hopefully! And somewhere between good food, philosophical discussions and environmental awareness we started to realize what being an international master student is all about.

Germany is from now on our favorite country, where everything is so cheap and there are sunny moments! On Friday we visited the Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum, which was also very interesting.

Marja and Christian thank you for your help and support, und Vielen Dank an unseren Professor Jens.

Magda Mesogiti





Row your (Viking) boat…

25 09 2009

Rowing into the storm, the Viking way (apart from those orange lifejackets)

Rowing into the storm, the Viking way (apart from those orange lifejackets)

Viking time!

Monday September 21st we went to Bork Viking harbour to get the feel of Viking life in action.
The boat we were taking out was a replica of Skuldelev 6, called “Ravnunge Bork”. The boat is meant for a crew of 7-16 men, our crew consisted of 2 experienced Vikings, one professor and 9 students, a good number for working this boat.
Number one rule when rowing, do not stare at your own oar, instead look at the person in the back on starboard side setting the pace. It was, of course, of great importance that we all were rowing at the same pace. Not doing so might have caused problems such as hitting the person in front, in the back or on the side of you, or their oars. With a bit of practice we all got into it. I do not know if we reached the expected speed of the boat, that is 4 knots, but we got it going.
From the harbour in Bork we rowed out along a  stream on to Ringkøbing fjord, on the way out to the fjord we past a sacrificial site with dead animals on display, the Vikings had been there…..
Out on the “open” fjord we all tried out our skills as coxswain, commanding the rowers to steer the ship around a buoy, who should row forward and backwards to make the turns more sufficient.
After a few tries we got the hang of that too and learned that it is even more efficient to use the rudder for steering rather than just the oars.

Setting sails we have not done yet (well, only on dry land), the winds have been too strong, but next week we will also get to sail the Viking way.

Liv Lofthus





ICUCH Seminar in Esbjerg – October 5th 2009

24 09 2009

On October 5th, the annual ICUCH (International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage) Seminar on Maritime Heritage Underwater, Management Exploitation and Access is hosted by the Maritime Archaeology Programme in Esbjerg. Attendance is free, so please come along…





Fins Beer and Barbecue…

24 09 2009

Or a first hand account of the semseter start at SDU MAP:





High Viz and drilling platforms…

24 09 2009
Andrew looking professional in safety gear...

Andrew looking professional in safety gear...

During the summer (this post is a little late…) we got the chance to visit the drilling rig ENSCO 70, which was being refitted for a Mærsk contract in Esbjerg harbour. Esbjerg is developing into the Danish Offshore capital, and drilling rigs and platforms have become a common sight in the harbour.

Maritime archaeology is closely linked to the maritime industry sector, in methodology, and often in day to day tasks. It was therefore great  to get aboard a drilling platform and learn more about the daily life and routines on rigs and the production process.

Many thanks again to John Howell at Mærsk for making this visit possible!!

Jens Auer

Assistant Professor

Maritime Archaeology Programme





Fieldschool Day 18

19 08 2009
All the tourists are gone

All the tourists are gone

… and so are we… (I thought this last impression of Prerow Beach was a fitting picture for the last day). Home to Esbjerg after a lot of cleaning and clearing up. We certainly had a great time – perfect diving, exciting archaeology, a lot of motivation and good mood everywhere and great barbecues!

So, in the name of the “University teaching staff”, many thanks to all participants for the great work and motivation!!!

We would also like to thank Detlef Jantzen and Jens-Peter Schmidt from the Landesamt für Kultur und Denkmalpflege for inviting us, the Bauamt Fischland Darss and Frau Pfeiffer in the Kurverwaltung Prerow for their support and help with our “basecamp”, the international school in Prerow and here especially the caretaker Her Schütt for all the help and support with equipment and the gym, our “site-office”, and last but not least Familie Fiedler in Richtenberg for equipping us with a full field kitchen and fridge and our trusty “handwagen” and speedwelding the UMA!

Jens Auer

Assistant Professor

Maritime Archaeology Programme





Fieldschool Day 17

13 08 2009
The Maritime Archaeology team surveying.

The Maritime Archaeology team surveying.

Today the total station arrived. We were all rather excited at camp by the idea of using the total station to get the exact location of FPL 17. Excited by the fact that the only total station knowledge we had was of using one in Thorsminde Denmark, for recording the Rudder of the ship HMS St. George. (See under Projects)

A total station can plot points and give GPS co ordinates by shooting light into a prism. The prism for FPL 17, since underwater, was attached to a very large poll so that it would sit above 3.5 meters in the water and still have the prism exposed for the total station to shoot from land.

The first (and only) divers of the day, Bente and Kostas set out on the boat and began the dive. 5 hours later, the two divers disassembled all the baselines and attained 4 datum points along the wreck. In order to do this, Kostas had to paddle his little Greek heart out at the surface to make sure the points were level with the total station that was on land (assisted by Christian), while Bente held the heavy poll steady at the stem post, the stern post and amidships between frames 350 and 207.

Of course this sounds all nice and easy writing it now on this blog, but I can assure you it took great effort to align the prism with the total station – 45 minutes to be exact. Rain and long distance from the total station on shore where not in the divers favour, but practice made perfect as they did it twice to be sure.

The last few frames of the‘4am wreck’ were measured and completed in the early hours of the day, as we sat out in the rain drawing and measuring with soggy clothing and smiles on our faces. Ironically, after all was completed for FPL 17 and FPL 77, the sun decided to greet us with its presence. So we began the interesting task of taking samples from FPL 77 for tree ring analysis. In order to do this, Christian, Sarah, Andrew, Marja, Della and I hesitantly began cutting pieces of the frames we had spent so long getting to know. Andrew teared up as he sawed away at the very frame he drew early that day. 10 samples later, and smelling a bit funny from waterlogged wood, we finished the day with Piñacoladas at the Prerow beach party.

Cate Wagstaffe