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College of Arts & Sciences
Maritime Research Division


Field Training Course

Once a year, the Maritime Research Division offers a field training course in underwater archaeology. This course is designed for South Carolina sport divers, but is a great opportunity for any diver to learn more about underwater archaeology.

Each year, MRD offers a field training course in underwater archaeology. This course is designed mainly for sport divers, but is great for any diver who wants to get involved with underwater archaeology.

The Field Training Course (FTC) is offered in two parts. Part I is a weekend course that consists of teaching basic techniques that can be used in the field to observe, report, and record underwater sites.  This course is a mixture of hands-on activities and lectures designed to teach the average diver how to be first responders to sites they may come across while diving. This means they will have the training to record and observe sites and more accurately report sites to archaeologists.

The Saturday consists of classroom lectures and dry land hands-on sessions, while Sunday is an underwater session using the skills developed on Saturday. The Saturday session runs from 9am-5pm at the Fort Johnson Marine Resource Center in Charleston.  The Sunday session is located at a training pond outside of Charleston and runs from 10am-4pm.

Part I is available to 10 students.  The cost is $175 per person.  This includes both days, a manual, all materials involved, and air tanks.  Divers will need to provide their own dive gear, food/drink, and transportation.

Once Part I has been successfully completed, students are eligible to participate in Part II. Part II allows students to accompany Division staff archaeologists on a real-world field project to record a maritime site. Techniques learned in Part I will be used to accurately record the site. Part II in 2012 and 2013 took place on Hilton Head Island where staff and students excavated a beached wreck.  For more information on this ongoing project, please visit our Hilton Head Island Wreck page.

For more information on our next Field Training Course, please visit our Calendar and News pages.