The Anthropology Department has been busy with several
recent underwater archaeology events, including a public talk and training
Ben Ford just returned from Erie, Pennsylvania, where he taught an
introduction to underwater archaeology course in partnership with the Regional
Science Consortium and Divers World scuba shop. The class of 13 students
learned about the ethics and history of underwater archaeology before
practicing proper non-destructive measuring techniques on land, in a pool, and
then in open water.
The students that passed the class are now eligible to dive
with the Pennsylvania Archaeology Shipwreck Survey Team dive team. The
dive team is made up of dedicated local divers and amateur archaeologists who work
to record Lake Erie shipwrecks and report them to the Pennsylvania State Historic
Preservation Office. The team is currently recording three shipwrecks through
PASST-specific dive trips funded by Erie County.
Ford also recently taught a separate advanced underwater
archaeology course. The purpose of this course was to provide PASST dive
leaders with increased underwater recording and archaeology awareness. Members
of this class are leading the PASST shipwreck recording efforts.
Finally, on June 3, Ford gave a public lecture as part of
the National Museum of the Great Lakes Wreck-a-Palooza 2017 series. Wreck-a-Palooza
provides the interested public with a day of maritime lectures over two
weekends during the summer. Ford’s talk was about recent work on the Oneida
Lake Durham boat. He recorded the Oneida Lake Durham boat with the help of
local volunteers, and it is the first of its kind to be discovered. The wreck
recently received national attention from Archaeology Magazine, Smithsonian
Magazine, and other outlets. Durham boat research was partially funded by the
IUP Senate Research Committee Small Grants program.