The 2016 Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) Field School in Underwater Archaeology is in full swing with a great new group of students!

This is LAMP’s 10th Annual Field School, and is a big year for us, both because of the milestone season, and because we are hosting our largest group of students to date. Over the past two and a half weeks, our 12 students have completed various training exercises around the lighthouse and surrounding area. These include the usual blackout mask obstacle course, used to prepare them for St. Augustine’s low visibility diving….

obstacle course

Traversing the blackout mask obstacle course. Photo by Silvana Kreines

…to training dives in Alexander Springs, where we had the practice basic underwater archaeological methods in clear water, before asking them to perform these same tasks in the aforementioned low visibility.

alexander springs

Practicing laying a baseline and excavation grid. Photo by Silvana Kreines

After the initial week of training, our students began working on the 18th century wreck that is our current focus, and have been successfully doing so for a week and a half.

During this time they have also been participating in a land based rotation, where they learn other skills often used by archaeologists in the field. So far, they have been introduced to timber and cannon recording, as well as some of the basic principles used by archaeological conservators specializing in waterlogged materials.

Recording measurements on the Industry cannon.

Students record measurements on the Industry cannon.

Recording a ship timber discovered in Anastasia State Park.

Students record a ship timber discovered in Anastasia State Park.

Practicing taking field measurements on the bell in front of the Keeper's House on the Lighthouse grounds.

Students practice taking field measurements on the bell in front of the Keeper’s House on the Lighthouse grounds.

As always, the field school is flying by, but we still have one more week of diving before this year’s program comes to an end, and our students leave as brand new scientific divers. So, we will continue to dive, and to dig.

Check back in later this summer to see the results of LAMP’s 10th annual field school, and the remainder of our 2016 field season!


Archaeologist Olivia McDaniel first joined the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum team in 2012 as a student at LAMP’s Underwater Archaeology Field School. She officially joined the lighthouse family as an archaeologist in July, 2014, after completing her bachelor’s degree at the University of Idaho.