Each year, MRD offers a field training course in underwater archaeology. This course is designed mainly for sport divers, but is great for any diver who wants to get involved with underwater archaeology.
The Field Training Course (FTC) is offered in two parts. Part I is a weekend course that consists of teaching basic techniques that can be used in the field to observe, report, and record underwater sites. This course is a mixture of hands-on activities and lectures designed to teach the average diver how to be first responders to sites they may come across while diving. This means they will have the training to record and observe sites and more accurately report sites to archaeologists.
The Saturday consists of classroom lectures and dry land hands-on sessions, while Sunday is an underwater session using the skills developed on Saturday.
Part I is available to 10 students. The cost is $175 per person. This includes both days, a manual, all materials involved, and air tanks. Divers will need to provide their own dive gear, food/drink, and transportation.
Once Part I has been successfully completed, students are eligible to participate in Part II. Part II allows students to accompany Division staff archaeologists on a real-world field project to record a maritime site. Techniques learned in Part I will be used to accurately record the site. Part II in 2012 and 2013 took place on Hilton Head Island where staff and students excavated a beached wreck. For more information on this ongoing project, please visit our Hilton Head Island Wreck page.