Principal Investigator Jennifer McKinnon
Flinders University 2007 Field School
in Underwater Archaeology
5 February 2007
By Karson Winslow

Today marks the official first day of the 2007 field school in Victor Harbor. After a good nights sleep, the teams broke off and went on their way to survey their respective sites. I have the honor of representing the red team, a term I took a little too literally based on the tomato-colored status of my face after the day in the field. Our project, with Andy Viduka, Jessica Berry, Amer Khan (supervisor) and Deb Shefi (supervisor) took place on the lovely Victor Harbor Causeway, where historic swimming baths had at one point been constructed. Nothing remains of the swimming baths jetty today, though it is thought that through a systematic and extensive survey, certain cultural associations could be located. After an amusing snorkel in about .5m of water, which consisted of combing yourself through the weeds, it was decided that a nice warm up of coffee was in order and it might be helpful to wait until the tide was a little higher.

The red team enters the water for an introductory snorkle.

The red team enters the water for an introductory snorkle.

The following dive actually provided the team with a better opportunity to locate cultural material and gave us the ability to breathe more than one big mouthful of air and work on the bottom.  What was seen on the site consisted of contemporary trash, wood fragments possibly associated with jetty structure and many circular depressions in the limestone sea bed.  These depressions could be associated with the jetty pylons, but must be further analyzed.  By the time the tanks were down to 50 bar and lips were a nice shade of blue, it was decided that we had done enough field work for the day.

Despite changes in the weather which inevitably changed survey plans, there were smiles in abundance and team moral stayed at a spectacular level.  Not too bad for the first day out.  As a side note, this is the first student installment, so I am the official guinea pig, and got stuck with cooking dinner tonight – actually a lovely white fish with vegetables and potatoes with a nice glass of wine. 

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