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Lowri-RobertsAs an MSc Maritime Archaeology student, I am lucky to have been on several field trips. Field trips aren’t just a day off; they’re a chance to get to know your peers and supervisors a little better in a relaxed environment whilst seeing some new places and maybe learning a thing or two. And let’s be honest, you’re never too old to buy tacky souvenirs!

A trip to Poole museum was a must for us as a class as Bournemouth University maritime department have worked with them on the Swash Channel wreck project for several years, excavating underwater and successfully planning the wreck through photo mosaics. The rudder was successfully raised in 2013 and Poole museum now houses a perfect one to one replica of the detailed face (pictured below) that appeared at one end along with other pieces from the wreck.
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Some of the wrecks we study and that have been worked on by our supervisors are located in Studland Bay, so it was nice to visit that area on a separate field trip. We were able to survey the bay and surrounding landscape from the beautiful Fort Henry, a World War two observation bunker which had its own interesting history. On the same day, we visited the beautiful Corfe castle; an important landmark in Dorset’s history even though the weather was not on our side (as seen by the grey clouds)!
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Another day well spent was the visit to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard where we went to the Mary Rose Museum, and were taken aboard HMS Victory and HMS Warrior. In the Mary Rose Museum, you get to have your picture taken with a life size Henry VIII, shoot some longbows and obviously, see the great ship in her new ship-shaped home as seen below!
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The HMS Victory and HMS Warrior allowed us to be big kids, scurrying up and down steep stairs and exploring every nook and cranny – while being educated of course. It’s nice to see the lecturers in their element explaining different aspects of maritime archaeology to us outside of the classroom and field trips to me are a great way to see their enthusiasm for the subject. And who doesn’t like pretending to be pirates? We do!
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One of the best field trips for me has been the pool survey we took part in as a class where we were allowed to scuba dive in a local swimming pool and conduct an underwater survey. In the survey we recorded a plastic blue boat and other small objects on the pool floor with our designated buddy. It was so much fun and a real ice breaker seeing as it was early on in the year!
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Field trips are a great way of integrating with your course mates and supervisors and getting out of the classroom to a different environment. It enhances the learning experience to put the theory learnt in to practise and to visit some of the sites discussed throughout the course of the year. I’d encourage anyone to partake in a course that offers a variety of field trips, or make friends with someone who does!

By Lowri Roberts

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