Re: Re: Diving on a 1720's French Shipwreck in the Dominican Republic

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Posted by John Downing on June 17, 2008 at 17:36:15:

In Reply to: Re: Diving on a 1720's French Shipwreck in the Dominican Republic posted by Divebum Don on June 17, 2008 at 14:58:45:

Thanks for your interest Don,

I have been interested in Archaeology since my teens. But only pursued it from my recliner until I retired. After learning to dive (Before the field school I only had 31 hrs underwater)articles about Maritime Archaeology (MA)caught my interest. For the past year or two I have been Googling and reading about MA and looking at various field schools around the world with ADMAT (Anglo/Danish Maritime Arch. Team) making a good impression.

I emailed ADMAT about joining a field school in the FL Keys this winter. Then received a return email from Dr. Spooner (Simon)asking me to consider coming to the DR in May. he told me I would be able to learn directly from him as that is a slow month for them and there were no other students. So with three weeks notice I flew to the DR having convinced Simon to work with me on the two certifications, very intensive. My wife is fantastic!

Personal highlights: Seeing and touching the artifacts already raised was really cool. Like being in a museum where you get to go behind the windows. Then working on the wreck and finding more of the same, hard to describe.

Simon is a great person with a passion for MA. He is just a regular guy who loves to dive on wrecks and has a vast knowlege of MA, one of the few Phd's in the world in this area. So working with him was a great deal of fun while learning so very much.

Learning how to record artifacts underwater, measuring all dimensions and location parameters, was challenging and rewarding. Learning how to truss and raise the granite blocks was a great experience. But being able to contribute to science, even in a small way, was the best of all. With Simon you are a team member from day one.

While we found a great number of artifacts probably the very most important, archaeologically, was a small pewter button. It had a unique design which may well tell us more about the wreck and its origins. We emailed photos of it right away to ADMAT France for evaluation. This week Simon is going to hand carry it to the labs at the Louvre for further examination. No gold or silver coins, just small clues which together will eventually piece together the riddle of this ship and its unique cargo.

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