By: Sara Rich, University of Leuven, 2012 Platt Fellow
I’d like to tell you about my best day in the field – ever. Honestly, between the promise of keel wood and the dolphins, there isn’t even a close runner up.
This morning the waters off the south-central coast of Cyprus were calm despite the storm that was supposed to be blowing in from the west. This was already a good sign. Bad weather and transportation issues meant that my dive yesterday had to be canceled. The past couple of days we’ve had some technical problems with the “rib” (acronym for “rigid inflatable boat”) that takes us out to the site every day, where the support vessel, Marilena, is stationed directly above the wreck. So in lieu of the rib, we’d been hitching rides out to sea and back on local fishing boats. This was great fun, but rather time-consuming, as you can imagine. Well this morning by 6am that problem had been resolved, so we arrived on site as planned by 7am via not one, but two fully-functioning ribs.
One of the seven-ton column drums comes to the surface
Receiving the Heritage Fellowship from ASOR made an incredible difference for me as a graduate student in Nautical Archaeology. Funding through my university for field work is very limited, and is typically only awarded to PhD students pursuing their own research. As a Master’s student, I wanted to continue to get more experience working as a part of an excavation team at the Kizilburun Shipwreck before heading out on my own, and the Heritage Fellowship made that possible.
One of the six-ton column drums comes to the surface.
This summer I was able to travel to Turkey to participate in the final season of excavation at the Kizilburun column-carrying shipwreck as a direct result of the ASOR Heritage Grant I was awarded. Because of the high cost of running an underwater excavation from a remote location, project directors typically require students to pay for their own travel to and from the site. The remoteness of this project served also to increase travel costs for interested participants. As a result of these expenses, I was one of only two students able to join the excavation team this summer.