underwater archaeology, maritime archaeology, nautical archaeology

In Germany, underwater archaeologists work e.g. in the Baltic Sea or in Lake Constance. Shipwrecks, settlements or harbour complexes are examined.
Because this work requires archaeological as well as diving skills, people are especially trained to become archaeological research divers.

Surveying underwater sites entails diving, drilling as well as sonar or aerial photography. A clearly visible grid is set up in the excavation area. Loosened sediment is sucked up and finds are brought to the surface in find baskets fitted with floats. Photographic documentation is carried out with underwater cameras. Drawings are made in pencil on waterproof graph paper or in wax crayon on plastic film or acrylic glass.
The recovered organic finds must be protected from drying out before conservation, as they will otherwise disintegrate.

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