Project SAMPHIRE Partner Profile: Flinders University Maritime Archaeology Program

This year Flinders University  is working with Wessex Archaeology on Project SAMPHIRE (for more information on the backstory see this post). Representing Flinders within the team is Project Co-I Dr Jonathan Benjamin, who began as Lecturer in Maritime Archaeology in January. Jonathan is joined by Flinders postgraduate student Chelsea Colwell-Pasch, a Canadian studying maritime archaeology in Australia. Chelsea’s research is centered around Scottish ship-building and the maritime site Leven Lass which was built in Scotland (1839) and wrecked in Victoria, Australia (1854).

Volunteer Chelsea Polwell-Pasch

Maritime archaeology has been taught at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia at undergraduate level since 1996 and at postgraduate level since 2002. The Graduate Program in Maritime Archaeology is now the largest and most successful of its kind in Australia and one of only a handful of places in the world to offer this specialised field of study. The program has three academic staff, adjunct staff, and a part-time technical officer, as well as PhD students (on scholarships) who also work part-time in the program. The Maritime Archaeology Program (MAP) at Flinders aims to provide students with a strong academic and theoretical grounding across a broad range of areas in maritime and underwater archaeology, coastal archaeology, and cultural heritage management in addition to extensive practical field-work based training through their many field schools on offer. The Graduate Program currently has approximately 35 graduate students and draws students from all over the world. Graduates of the PhD and masters programs now work for underwater cultural heritage agencies, museums and commercial archaeology firms as well as studying and teaching at tertiary institutions, both in Australia and overseas.

Chelsea has been working with the SAMPHIRE team to gain experience and support the project which relates directly to her research. Look for updates on twitter and the Flinders University Archaeology blog, which is updated by students and staff alike.

For more information on the Flinders Maritime Archaeology, or for interest in taking part in the 2015 fieldschool (held on the site Leven Lass in Victoria February 1-14th), please see the Flinders website or contact Jonathan directly. For those interested in marine geophysics for archaeology, Jonathan will also be partnering with Dr Paul Baggaley of Wessex Archaeology for this year’s week-long advanced practical in marine geophysics at Flinders University (November 16-21).