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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsDR FRASER STURT: This week, we're going to look at sea level change and why it's so important for archaeologists to understand. We're also going to examine geophysical techniques that we use to locate shipwrecks and discover submerged worlds. These are both quite complicated subjects so please do use the Comments to ask questions which we can then answer to help bring on your learning.

Welcome to Week 3

Welcome to Week 3 of our Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds course. This week we will develop your knowledge by investigating the changing maritime landscape, discussing sea-level change and learning about geophysical techniques for studying submerged landscapes and shipwrecks. We will also add more detail with regard to prehistoric boats and consider their preservation in the archaeological record, as well as exploring how we may identify these and more recent shipwrecks through survey.

This week may challenge you in different ways to last week, but, the ideas within it are key to how we practise maritime archaeology today. As such, don’t worry if something seems confusing at first and please do use the comments to ask additional questions.

By the end of this week you will be able to:

  • Describe the four main factors that affect sea-level and understand why these are relevant to maritime archaeology
  • Locate areas of the continental shelf that have been submerged since the last Ice Age and discuss potential survey methods for these areas
  • List geophysical techniques used in marine surveys
  • Identify shipwrecks in survey data
  • Differentiate between a variety of simple watercraft

This is a full and fascinating week and we hope you enjoy it!


Remember, when you’ve finished a step just click the pink ‘Mark as complete’ button. This will allow you to see at a glance which steps you have completed on your ‘to do’ list, and means you can see how much you’ve completed on your Progress page.


To wrap up Week 2, Tamsyn posed some of the questions that arose to Fraser, Thomas and Rodrigo in a short video on the course blog.

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This video is from the free online course:

Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds: Maritime Archaeology

University of Southampton

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join:

  • Welcome to Week 1
    Welcome to Week 1
    video

    Welcome to Week 1 of Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds: Maritime Archaeology with Dr Julian Whitewright, University of Southampton.

  • What is Maritime Archaeology?
    What is Maritime Archaeology?
    video

    Vox pops with staff and students from University of Southampton: What is maritime archaeology? Learners are invited to share their thoughts.

  • Screenshot of the timeline
    The development of a discipline
    article

    An interactive timeline that charts the development of maritime archaeology as a discipline. Contributions from worldwide learners are welcome.

  • Experimental maritime archaeology
    Experimental maritime archaeology
    video

    Why build a replica? Watch Professor Jon Adams explore experimental maritime archaeology on location at Buckler's Hard.

  • Medieval seafaring
    Medieval seafaring
    video

    In this video, Professor Jon Adams explains the techniques by which shipwrights have converted trees into boats suitable for sailing the world.

  • An operating table with bottles and other items on it, underwater.
    Treasure hunting, looting, and the illicit trade in antiquities
    article

    Peter Campbell discusses the complex issues surrounding treasure hunting, looting, and the illicit trade in antiquities, in this article.