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Engraving of Penetanguishine Military Base and ships sailing in harbour, 1818


Maritime Archaeology


Aerial view of Discovery HarbourANTH-4901H Maritime Archaeology is being offered in cooperation with Discovery Harbour (Huronia Historical Parks) in Penetanguishene, Ontario. The course introduces students to the archaeology of human interaction with water, focusing mainly on ships and related infrastructure (wharfs, docks and harbours).

  • There is no prerequisite for this course.
  • The course does not have a SCUBA component.

We use the facilities and museums in Huronia Parks, including the remains of HMS Tecumseth and its replica (pictured). Students gain hands-on experience in ship anatomy, recording of ship architecture, and the archaeology of harbour infrastructure. The course fee does not include room and board, although on-site accommodation is available at a modest additional cost.


3 June to 15 June (excluding Saturday June 9 and Sunday June 10 --- however, we anticipate there will be entirely optional non-course related and wholly recreational field trips on these days to visit shipwreck sites for qualified divers and experienced snorkelers). The course begins at 3 pm on Sunday June 3rd, and ends at approximately 3 pm on Friday 15th June.


Registration Form
Note: An enrollment of 15 students is needed for the course to run. Deadline for enrollment limit is April 30th. If 15 students are not enrolled in the course by this date, it will be cancelled.

Information for Non-Degree Students

If you are interested in this course and are not currently enrolled as a student, you may apply to audit the course. Reduced fees are applied. Please download and complete this form, and submit to Judy Pinto along with the course application form. Please note the deadline for applying to audit a course is April 15th.

Course enrollment is by permission of instructor.

Tentative Teaching schedule

  • Sunday
    • PM: Arrive by 3pm.  Make your way to the accommodation. Introductions and dinner at the pub.
  • Monday
    • AM: Intro to Maritime Archaeology
    • AM: Geophysics, Robotics and Diver Search and Survey Methods
    • PM: Introduction to the Penetanguishene Naval Establishment
  • Tuesday
    • AM: Archaeological Survey
    • AM: Excavation, Conservation and Management of waterlogged remains
    • PM: Recording sessions
  • Wednesday
    • AM: Maritime material culture:  Classification, Dating, and Analysis
    • AM: Interpretation and Presentation of Marine Cultural Heritage
    • PM: Museum / Objects workshop
  • Thursday
    • AM: Reading and Interpreting Maritime landscapes
    • AM: Remote Sensing and Maritime Archaeology
    • PM: Mapping project “Connected Landscapes: Reconstructing communities at the intersection of coastal, foreshore and underwater archaeology”
  • Friday
    • AM: Resource Management, Ethics and Debates in Maritime Research
    • AM: Marine Archaeological Licensing
    • PM: Project Management Session
    • PM: Test
  • Saturday - Sunday
    • Free Non- Course Days (Optional Non-Course Related Diving / Snorkeling Trip to the Lottie Wolf / Marquette)
  • Monday
    • AM: Ships as an Archive: Reading ship plans / shipwreck plans
    • AM: The Archive as a Ship: Using Documents to Reconstruct Ships
    • PM: Above Water Nautical Archaeology:  Replica HMS Bee & Tecumseth
  • Tuesday
    • AM: Connecting Landscapes and Shipwrecks with the Historical Archive
    • AM: Ship Map Project – Visualizing, Monitoring and Interpretation
    • PM: HMS Tecumseth – Intro to 3D modelling and mapping
  • Wednesday
    • AM/PM: Ship in the Shed – Recording/Digitization Session
  • Thursday
    • AM/PM: Ship in the Shed – Recording/Digitization Session
  • Friday
    • AM/PM: Ship in the Shed – Analysis and Interpretation
    • 3PM: Departures.


Discovery Harbour, Penetanguishene


In addition to the Trent University summer fee for a 0.5 credit course (the 2017 fee was $717.04: the 2018 fee when available will be posted here https://www.trentu.ca/financialservices/tuitionfees/summer.php) there is a $100 non-refundable supplementary fee to cover course supplies. This can be paid by cheque or cash (cheques made payable to "Trent University").


Optional on-site room and board (in a communal space) is available for a inclusive fee of $500. This includes 12 nights of accommodation from Sunday night (3 June) through Thursday night (14 June). Breakfast and lunch supplies are provided but self-catered: dinners are provided at the on-site restaurant.

For more information

Please contact James Conolly, Anthropology Department Chair, at jamesconolly@trentu.ca

Schematic of the HMS Tecumseth, 1815