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NAS – Nautical Archeology Society Training Course

The second level (NAS01), NAS – Nautical Archeology Society training course took place on the 30th and 31st of July at the Associação Oceânica facilities in Santa Cruz.

With the support of CINAV – Naval Research Centre of the Portuguese Navy, the History Centre of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Lisbon, the Oceanic Association – Madeira, and CEAM – Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary Archeology.

Taught by Commander and Professor Augusto Salgado, Professor at the Faculty of Arts and former professor at the Naval School of the Portuguese Navy, as well as a researcher at CINAV and at the History Centre of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Lisbon. Amateur diver and underwater photographer for over 30 years.  Since 1993, he has participated in underwater archeology projects, namely in the works carried out in São Julião da Barra (since 1993), onboard the clipper Pedro Nunes (ex-Thermopylae), in the project “O U -35 in the Algarve,” which in 2015 won the Adopt a Wreck Award from the Nautical Archeology Society (NAS).

He currently coordinates the research project of the History Center of the University of Lisbon HistArC – History and Archeology of Conflict.

The course called Certification in Underwater Archeology (NAS01) was carried out following the success of the Introduction Course (NAS00) given in Madeira on the 28th of last month. These two modules were intended to provide divers and non-divers with theoretical and practical knowledge about underwater archaeological science.

The first level, NAS00, focused on the introduction to Underwater Archeology in Portugal (History and Development of the Discipline), the types of Archaeological sites, as well as archaeological dating methods, rights and responsibilities under Portuguese law, in relation to archaeological finds, and introduction to prospecting and 2D recording, with a practical onshore exercise at the end.

Second level, NAS01, already allows the possibility of participation as volunteers, of the holders of this training in underwater archaeological campaigns. In this, concepts such as project planning, Archaeological diving: The Sea, Security and Logistics, fossil directors, Contemporary Archeology and 3D records and post-fieldwork activities were addressed. At the end, a practical exercise was carried out at sea with the application of the knowledge previously obtained.

All trainees showed interest and interest in continuing the training, which is intended to be held in Madeira and Porto Santo, during the course of next year, seeking to increase the qualifications and number of participants and underwater archaeological work in the Region.

NAS – Nautical Archeology Society, based in Portsmouth, United Kingdom, is one of the most prestigious institutions in the world related to Nautical and Underwater Archaeology. Among numerous actions, it manages one of the most important scientific publications in the world, linked to the topic of Nautical and Underwater Archeology, the International Journal of Nautical Archeology, and the “Adopt-a-Wreck” programme.

In this program, people are invited and encouraged to proceed with the adoption of wrecks, with the aim of encouraging the study, safeguarding and dissemination of a particular wreck and the Underwater Archaeological Cultural Heritage in general.

Madeira, who hosts the remains of the SS Newton, were the subject of the first archaeological work in 2021, are now competing for this program. The work carried out on this shipwreck fulfills all the requirements, credits and supported SS Newton’s candidacy for the prestigious adoption process that rewards “the person or group who has made the most significant contribution to archeology and researched through the Adopt-a-Wreck scheme.”

Samantha Gannon

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