How to Spend a Day as an Underwater Archaeologist?


5 Minute

How to Spend a Day as an Underwater Archaeologist?

Water, which makes up 71% of our world, has played an important role in human history for thousands of years. We can say that the oceans, most of which have not yet been discovered, contain countless information that will help us to shed light on the history of humankind and, with the artifacts they contain, can even be considered a museum. Are not there any brave people who want to reveal these works and information? Of course, there are, and they are very close to us!

The exploration of unknown underwater worlds is carried out by underwater archaeologists as part of underwater archaeology (nautical archaeology). By exploring the oceans and seas, underwater archaeologists try to bring to light the secrets and information about the history of humankind hidden in them. Thanks to the archaeological remains they have found in shipwrecks, aircraft wrecks and sunken cities, the interpretations and information they have gained not only shed light on human's relationship with water, but also help us understand our culture, our origins and ourselves. Have you ever wondered what the day of excavation was like for these brave underwater archaeologists, who played a huge part in discovering seas and oceans that are sometimes dark, choppy, scary and unstoppable, and sometimes bright, calm, inviting and a popular vacation destination? Let us take a look together at how an underwater excavation goes.

Precautions Before Excavation

We know that you expect underwater archaeologists who have obtained an excavation permit to immediately go to the area to dive. However, there is a long list of things to do for the preservation of the ruins, artifacts, and history at the excavation site, as well as for the safety of the divers. It is necessary to provide logistics for the necessary equipment for the excavation, food for the team heading out, oxygen for the dive, and careful cleaning of the excavation area for a successful extraction.

Many conditions underwater are very different from life on the surface, which can sometimes make excavation difficult. For this reason, it is also important for underwater archaeologists to remain calm and exercise patience during times of crisis. They also have to learn to deal with multiple stimuli at once and get used to working under pressure, both mentally and physically.

Things To Do During the Excavation

Now comes the moment... If your oxygen tanks are ready, let us get started! There is little time left to get to the artifacts or, in other words, to the past. Teams of underwater archaeologists, who must work diligently within a limited time frame, are about to begin excavating the remains. Of course, the limited time does not mean they will not work meticulously to avoid damaging our history! Once the locations of the artifacts to be removed are determined and marked with flags, they will first remove obstacles such as sand so as not to damage the equipment and artifacts used. The cleaned artifacts will be carefully labeled, packaged and brought to the surface. As everyone on the team works to recover the artifacts in their area, photos and videos will also be taken to ensure nothing is missed and to document the work.

Delivery of Artifacts After the Excavation

Although the day ends with the artifacts excavated, the work of the underwater archaeologists is not over. After the artifacts found are recorded and analyzed, they must be turned over to the authorities. This requires many more steps, such as making measurements, drawings and models after the works are carefully cleaned.

It can be said that each day of the underwater archaeologists passed with other excitements, and we have experienced only one day. They are getting a little closer to our history every day, working to explore oceans and seas that we cannot even imagine what they hide.

You can watch our video titled “Uncovering the Underwater Archaeology: Crew” on the Turkish Museums YouTube channel to learn more about underwater archaeology and see how the underwater archaeologists conduct their work.