“10.000 MILLIMETERS UNDER THE SEA” By KATIE CLEVENGER

Studying a new Tarraconensis Amphorae (Dressel 2/4; Chronology 25 B.C-275 A.D.)

Studying a new Tarraconensis Amphorae (Dressel 2/4; Chronology 25 B.C-275 A.D.)

During the first session of the 2014 season, the underwater students have been surveying an area just outside the natural port of Sanisera (Sanitja, Menorca, Balearic Island, Spain).  The survey methodology being used is called linear survey. As the name implies, students and/or instructors hold onto a line that is stretched between them.  This rope allows students to maintain proper spacing while looking for artifacts and to communicate with one another with a series of tugs on the rope.

 

Thus far, the underwater team has found several Tarraconensis Amphorae base (Dressel 2/4; Chronology: 25 B.C-275 A.D.), several amphorae rims (including the rim of an African Amphorae Type Keay 7; Chronology: 250-330 A.D.) and handles, fragments of a Tarraconensis Dolium, a base of Roman Fine Walls, and a number of no shapes, many of which are Tarraconensis (Tarraco roman city, near Barcelona) in origin.  Amphorae were used to transport goods such as wine, olive oil, etc. and dolia were used to store those goods after they were brought on land. By overlapping the production dates of the Tarraconensis Amphorae Dressel 2/4 and the African Amphorae Keay 7, we have been able to narrow down the date of the shipwreck.  The production dates overlap from 250 to 275 A.D.; therefore, we can assume the ship wrecked during or shortly after this time period.

Students conducting a linear survey in the Underwater Course.

Students conducting a linear survey in the Underwater Course.

 

During my time here last September, I found a Punic Ebussitan Amphora (Type PE 14) while conducting a survey in the north of Sanisera.  At the time, I did not know exactly what I had found, but I knew it was something special when the lead underwater archaeologist began vigorously shaking my hand and gave me our session’s signal for an important find (a gesture that would have been rude had we been on land).  This amazing experience helped me make the decision to return to Menorca this season and experience more of what the Sanisera field school has to offer.  I am greatly looking forward to going to Naples to conduct underwater survey in Portus Iulius with the session 2 team at the end of May.  I have been accepted into East Carolina University’s Maritime Studies graduate program where I will be channeling my studies towards nautical archaeology, and I partly attribute my acceptance to my participation in The Sanisera Field School which is one of the best field schools I have attended.

Dolium fragment and a piece of the Roman Fine Walls.

Dolium fragment and a piece of the Roman Fine Walls.

Me with my 2013 season find. Ebusitan Amphorae Type PE14.

Me with my 2013 season find. Ebusitan Amphorae Type PE14.

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