Maritime Archaeology Updates

Diving Deeper with the Maritime Archaeology Trust

Tag: WWI

Fieldwork Week on the Isle of Wight

SS Mendi ship’s bell, artefact recording, free evening event at the Shipwreck Centre and much more…

This week has been a hectic one in the office – as it always is before a fieldwork week! The packing pile is growing ever higher and the plans for next week are falling into place, so far so good!

This time we are heading off to the Isle of Wight! There are loads of things going on during the week and if you would like to get involved in any of our events, please don’t hesitate to contact us on We will mostly be based in the Shipwreck Centre and Maritime Museum at Arreton Barns Craft Village during the week.  We are also honored to be temporarily hosting the SS Mendi ship’s bell, and it will be on display for the public on the 25th to 29th September. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 5pm, and we also have an extra evening event on the Thursday that is definitely worth coming along for – more details below.

Artefact Recording 25th to 29th May, 10 am -4pm

In April 2017 the Trust began a huge project to digitize the fascinating collection of artefacts at the Shipwreck Centre. This will continue during the week of 25th September, so if you can spare a couple of hours at any time during the day that week, to help photograph, measure and describe the fascinating artefacts that have been recovered from wrecks off the Isle of Wight, please contact us asap at

3D Workshop Wednesday 27th September, 9 am to 12pm

In both maritime and terrestrial archaeology we have come into a wonderful age of highly visual digital techniques. This half day course, brought to you through the Maritime Archaeology Trust’s canoe to cannon project introduces you to the basics. This includes an overview of a range of techniques that are used in maritime archaeology and consideration of how they are being applied in the field and what the future holds. The workshop will mainly concentrate on getting you involved in collecting data and showing how you can apply these techniques, including a practical session where techniques will be applied to selected items for the Isle of Wight Shipwreck Centre’s amazing collection. The work shop is free and spaces are limited, so if you would like to join in, please contact us asap at

Discover the Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War, Thursday 28th September 2017, 7pm-9pm

Come along to find out more about the work of the Maritime Archaeology Trust and how you can be involved. The evening will include short presentations about the project and the work of the Trust and an opportunity to see the Shipwreck Centre’s amazing collection – including the SS Mendi ship’s bell!. Nibbles and wine will be provided. The event is free, but please let us know you are coming by booking your place here.

Fiedwork – Recording the Yaverland Battery, Friday 29th September (PM)

Yaverland Battery located at SZ 6152 8529. The battery opened in 1864. By 1902 the original rifle muzzle-loading weapons had been replaced by three 6-inch breech-loading Mk. VII guns, two of which were in use during the First World War. From 1906 it operated as an examination battery.

On Friday 29th September, MAT staff will be conducting photographic and measured survey at Yaverland Battery. If you would like to join us, please contact us asap at:

National Volunteering Week 1st June to 7th June 2017

As a non-profit charity organisation, the Maritime Archaeology Trust is very dependent on the amazing work our volunteers do for us! Over the years our volunteers have joined us in numerous projects and helped complete various tasks.

The people who work with us have come from various different backgrounds and bring in a range of skills which has been a tremendous resource for us. We have had divers provide us with pictures and detailed information of the wrecks they have dived on, which makes it possible for us to get primary data from the site without actually visiting it ourselves. Our current project, Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War, has 1100 sites that are included and without the support from the diving community this would be an impossible task for us to tackle.

Recording a wreck on the foreshore

Mr Steve Harvey has kindly lent his drone flying expertise to us during several site visits!

In addition to underwater sites we have also located relevant sites on the foreshore. The Trust has regular excursions to these sites where we together with volunteers record the features and current conditions of the wrecks. We have had volunteers bring their own drone equipment which allowed us to get aerial footage of the site as well as teaching other volunteers how to fly a drone.

The information we collect as part of the project doesn’t just come from primary archaeological sites. We also have volunteers who travel to various archives to wade through the wealth of information that hasn’t seen the light of day since it was archived. In addition to this we also record artefacts that are relevant to the wrecks of the First World War. The volunteers create a detailed photographic and written record of each artefact we record.

Volunteers recording artefacts at the Shipwreck Centre and Maritime Museum on the Isle of Wight

All of this information will then have to be put into a database where it is accessible to everyone. This is no small task with thousands of sites, documents and photographs to upload. Needless to say that without the help of volunteers working on making it all available, the majority of this information would be sat gathering dust on our servers.

Watercolour paintings by Mike Greaves

The work doesn’t end here however! Now the task is to let people know what we are up to and how they can access this information. As an organisation, the Trust regularly attends events locally and further afield. Our outreach team is often supported by volunteers who join them on the day to talk to the public. The displays we bring with us include artefacts for people to handle and electronic mini-airlifts and mini-ROVs for children to play with. The latter also requires regular maintenance which is also done by volunteers. During the events we attend we also bring with us free publications for people to read and take home. One of the most popular freebies we have available are the postcards with the beautiful watercolour artwork painted by one of our volunteers.

As illustrated in this post, the Maritime Archaeology Trust would simply not function in the same way without the brilliant work volunteers put in for us. In light of the National Volunteer Week 2017, the Maritime Archaeology Trust would like to highlight the work of our volunteers and thank you for your previous, current and future hard work! During the volunteering week we will be posting some of our volunteers’ stories of how they came to work with us, what they do and how it has benefitted them as well as us.

Fancy gaining some new skills and learning new things about our maritime past? You don’t have to be a qualified diver to volunteer and no previous maritime archaeological experience is required! Get in touch:

For more information about the volunteering opportunities available, please see this online booklet: