Topic ID #34920 - posted 2/12/2015 3:33 PM

Underwater Archaeology in Sanisera 2015



Our commitment is to promote Archaeology in its different aspects of research, training, and conservation, with a basic and clear purpose: to involve anyone from around the world who wishes to gain access to this scientific field. Sanisera is an international archaeological organization whose main aim is that of promoting and developing research, so that our current and future generations can be enriched by culture and education in this field. 

Why participate? 

Courses Quick Guide

1. General Information

The Sanisera Archaeology Institute for International Field Schools offers annual programs in archaeology. This course is designed for students from around the world interested in studying abroad, gaining knowledge in Roman cities, classical archaeology and underwater archaeology.

Over the past eight years, The Underwater School in Archaeology has researched the ancient port of Sanitja via an intensive survey program. We have discovered 18 Roman shipwrecks with cargo, including amphoras, and more than 10 anchors from different time periods.

The Sanisera Archaeology Institute offers an underwater archaeology course consisting of two main parts.

Part 1: Explore the Ancient Roman Port of Sanitja (Menorca, Spain)

There will be a minimum of 14 immersions focusing on underwater archaeological survey exploring the Ancient Port of Sanitja and the coast of the Cape of Cavalleria. The aim of this project is to identify structures of the Roman city of Sanisera and underwater shipwrecks, as well as the associated cargo including amphoras and anchors.

The port of Sanitja was not only occupied by Romans. There are also ruins of a Muslim mosque and an English defense tower which lead us to believe that we could find other vessels from these time periods. During the last years of survey, several anchors and three shipwrecks from the XVI-XIX centuries were discovered.

Course time dedicated: 90%.

Part 2. Mediterranean Shipbuilding (Menorca, Spain)

This component of the course focuses on Mediterranean shipbuilding techniques, both on theoretical and practical levels. Students will put into practice their conservation skills with a ship from the 1920s.

Students will learn the basics of traditional Mediterranean shipbuilding, as well as which tools, instruments and methods are the most suitable to restore old vessels.

Course time dedicated: 10%.

Students will also attend lectures on Roman shipwrecks, Roman amphoras and Mediterranean shipbuilding techniques.

2. What you will learn

In the Fieldwork

§  How to survey and which archaeological techniques are used.

§  Use and handling of the tools that are used during the survey process.

§  Recording data obtained during the survey.

§  Practice in the recognition of archaeological materials and Roman finds from the II century B. C. to VI A. D.

In the Laboratory

§  Recording data obtained during the survey -diary and systematic methodology sheets-.

§  Study and typological classification of archaeological Roman objects discovered during the underwater survey.

§  Relative dating based on the classification of the archaeological objects discovered during the survey.


§  Underwater Archaeological background of Sanisera.

§  Ancient trade in Sanisera and the Western Mediterranean Sea.

§  Ancient navigation.

§  Modern sail merchant ships (centuries 16th - 20th).

§  History, archaeology, economy and culture of the Roman civilization.

§  Introduction to the History of the Sanisera Site.

§  Minorcan archaeology before the Roman conquest of the Balearic Islands.

3. Directed at

This course offered by the Sanisera Archaeology Institute is designed to teach with precision this field of research. If you are interested in learning underwater survey techniques and methodology and apply them in a Roman port where you will find amphoras, anchors and the remains of shipwrecks, then this is a good option for you. 

During this course, you will learn how to identify archaeological remains on the seabed. In the laboratory, you will learn how to classify archaeological material found and how to determine dates and methods used to determine the location and elements of the cargos from shipwrecks.

After finishing this course, the training and experience gained will help you to decide if underwater archaeology is the area of research that you wish to focus on or if you want to continue on with underwater archaeology as a future profession. 

The water is very clear in Menorca, with an astonishing visibility, often up to 18 to 20 meters. The water is calm and mild in temperature and currant, allowing for excellent diving conditions in a natural and pristine Mediterranean atmosphere. 

Previous knowledge or experience in archaeology or computer systems is not required.

4. Field School Life & Language

The course runs six hours per day.  The day will be divided between diving in the Roman Port of Sanitja, lab work, exercises, lectures, videos and excursions. The course is taught in English and Spanish.

5. Options

To participate in diving activities, it is necessary to have a diving certificate that will allow you to dive up to 18 meters in depth.  For this reason, we have designed two groups to choose from: with or without a diving certificate.                                               

Group 1. Without a diving certificate: Those that do not have their diving certificate should choose this group.

Group 2. With certificate: Those that have a diving certificate from an internationally recognized organization (i.e. PADI), should choose this group. 

6. Medical Check

On the first day of the course, participants have to show a medical document stating that he/she is fit for diving activities. Participants that do not have this document on the first day will not be allowed to participate until they are able to present this document.

7. Certificates

At   the   end   of   the Field program,   students   will   receive a certificate of participation stating the hours and activities of the course.

Participants that perform exceedingly well in the course may receive a letter of recommendation from our organization upon request.

8. Sessions & Cost

In 2015, 10 sessions, 20 days each:

Session #1 April 9 – April 28 $ 2,100

Session #2 May 01 – May 20 $ 2,100

Session #3 May 23 - June 11 $ 2,600

Session #4 June 14 – July 03 $ 2,800

Session #5 July 06 – July 25 $ 2,800

Session #6 July 28 - August 16 $ 2,800

Session #7 August 19 – September 07 $ 2,600

Session #8 September 10 - September 29 $ 2,300

Session #9 October 02 - October 21 $ 2,100

Session #10 October 24 – November 12 $ 2,100

9. Course fee includes

·         Accommodation in the Student Residency in Ciutadella. Two to six per room.

·         Walking distance to the historic center, port and beaches.

·         Course tuition.

·         Tanks, tank filling and weights.

·         Daily transportation to/from the archaeological fieldwork.

·         Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

·         Accident insurance at the site.

·         Excursions.

·         Certificate of participation

·         Open water diving certificate (PADI) for those in group # 1.

Airfare not included from the student home to/from Menorca (Spain).

10. Spaces Available

The course is limited to 8 participants per session. Reservations are only effective when payment of the registration fee is received. If for any reason the  course  is  cancelled,  payment  is  returned  according  to  the  field school refund policy.

11. Equipment Needed

We encourage participants to bring their own dive gear, however, a complete set of diving equipment (with the exception of mask and snorkel which each participant must bring) can be rented at the reduced cost of 18 Euros per day. 

Minimum Age: 18 (contact with questions about age)


Contact Information:
 Cesar Gonzalez


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