9th Experimental Archaeology Conference abstract – Palma et al
The ShipWrEx Project
Paola Palma (Bournemouth University), Christopher Benjamin (Bournemouth University), Franziska Conrad (Bournemouth University), Luke Winter (Ancient Technology Centre, Dorset) & Tom Harrison (Bournemouth University)
The ShipWrEx Project was developed in an attempt to follow in the footsteps of Ancient IronAge boat builders in the Mediterranean style. The focus is on trying to build a section of a boat in a similar style to the 5th Century BC Gela wreck from Sicily. This experimental archaeology project aims to provide a practical understanding of the development of ship-building techniques using four distinct building methods, using multiple building styles to represent a nautical vessel during a transitional period. The project has been set up by Bournemouth University across a number of departments in conjunction with the Ancient Technology Centre (ATC) located in Cranborne, Dorset. The ATC provided the expertise in ancient tool use and the materials that the project volunteers needed to create the first section of this boat in June 2014. By combining the efforts and skills of Bournemouth University students from different disciplines, such as Maritime Archaeology, Design, Engineering, Computing and Media and drawing on the skills of the ancient technologists, the aim is to further understanding of shipbuilding methods. In return inter-disciplinary co-operation is promoted and provides each group with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired to a realistic project scenario. The valuable core collaborative element of the project gives academia the
opportunity to explore a practical approach to discovering the technical prowess of ship builders in the past and inform our understanding of the underlying reasons for the techniques and materials they used.
The Project is led by Paola Palma, Programme Leader for MSc Maritime Archaeology, she has 25 years experience in archaeology and her specific focus is monitoring the degradation and preservation of underwater cultural heritage, although her recent projects have explored the communication of Maritime Archaeology to marginalised audiences.
Palma, P. and Panvini, R., 2005. The Greek-Archaic Shipwreck from Gela, Sicily. Nautical Archaeology Society Newsletter, 1 (11)
Panvini, R. 2001. La nave greca arcaica di Gela: E primi dati sul secondo relitto Greco. Regione siciliana.
Benini, A. 2010. Il relitto Gela I: osservazioni sull’architettura navale. In Panvini, R., Guzzone, C., & Sole, L. (eds.) Traffici, commerci e vie distribuzione nel Mediterraneo tra Protostoria e V secolo a. C. 127-136. Regione siciliana