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Diving

Educational Courses

MAHS conducts two educational courses annually--the Introductory Course in Underwater Archaeology and the Field School in Underwater Archaeology.   For more information about these classes, including locations and times, see the descriptions below.   Membership in MAHS does not require completion of either course. PADI, NAUI, and YMCA certification in underwater/maritime archaeology may also be available to graduates of these courses.   Please confirm the availability of this benefit in advance of registration.

MAHS graduates have participated as volunteers in underwater archaeology projects throughout the USA including those sponsored by the National Park Service, the NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries, and various state and local governments.   MAHS volunteers have also participated in projects conducted in the United Kingdom, Bermuda, St. Maarten, Anguilla and various other locations around the world.

Introductory Course in Underwater Archaeology

The Introductory Course consists of nine evening sessions conducted on Tuesday evenings (7:30-9:30pm) at the McLean High School on Davidson Road in McLean, Virginia.   The course commences in late January of each year and applications can be made after the preceding December 1.   The cost of the course is $175.   A course text (optional) is available at a cost of approximately $25.   The class is open to all interested persons but is limited to a first-come basis.

The course begins with a review of the history and development of the science of underwater archaeology.   Also discussed are the significance of Florida, Maryland, and Virginia waters in terms of historic shipwrecks, maritime projects and future underwater archaeological needs of these areas.   Other classes provide instruction in archival research, remote sensing devices, reconnaissance surveys, mapping and underwater excavation techniques, photographic and video documentation of underwater sites, artifact conservation, and preservation laws and ethics.   One class is a field trip for a "hands on" study of wooden sailing ship architecture. The final class is a pool session for divers to perform some of the survey techniques learned in class.

Course Curriculum

Course Registration

See a downloadable class schedule for details and current dates, along with a course registration form.   Send the completed form and a check for the course fee payable to MAHS to:

MAHS
P.O. Box 44382
L'Enfant Plaza
Washington, DC 20026

For further information about this course contact Steven Anthony at 301-419-8222 or by e-mail at Santhony@mahsnet.org.

NOTE: The MAHS Diving Into History video series provides a distance learning alternative for those who, due to time or distance constraints, cannot attend the live classes held in the Washington DC area.

Field School in Underwater Archaeology

The Field School prepares students to participate in actual field projects.   The course is open to all MAHS members who have successfully completed the Introductory Course in Underwater Archaeology and are certified scuba divers.   Students must provide their own scuba equipment including mask, fins, snorkel, tank, buoyancy compensator, regulator with alternate air supply (e.g., octopus), depth gauge, underwater watch or bottom timer, weight belt, and appropriate thermal protection (e.g., wetsuit).

Typically, the Field School consists of a 2-day on-site session, which may be in a quarry or on an actual archaeological site, depending upon resource availability.   The course provides the student with experience in shoreline and open water reconnaissance, survey, mapping, sketching and other activities that may be site specific.   The cost of the course is $150.00.

Course Registration

See a downloadable course registration form.   Send the completed form and a check for the course fee payable to MAHS to:

MAHS
P.O. Box 44382
L'Enfant Plaza
Washington, DC 20026