Ford Teaches Classes, Gives Public Lecture on Underwater Archaeology

Posted on 6/12/2017 12:34:41 PM

The Anthropology Department has been busy with several recent underwater archaeology events, including a public talk and training classes.

PASST 2017 Dive TrainingBen 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.

Durham Boat Recording