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Maritime archaeology

Type: Guided

$250 per group (max 15 students)
120 min
7 8 9 10
Humanities & Social Science Science
Maritime archaeology

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About the program

The program investigates the methodology of maritime archaeology and the heritage value of shipwrecks through examining the roles of maritime archaeologists, conservators and curators. Students handle artefacts and learn about assessing and excavating sites, conserving and interpreting objects and methods of investigating the past.

Program structure

Students use a mock seabed to study how maritime archaeologists prepare and operate an excavation site, in particular the specifics of an underwater site. Students examine, sort and identify shipwreck artefacts, draw conclusions from evidence and work in groups to piece together the story of an 18th-century sailor.

A post-visit exercise introduces the role of the curator in interpreting objects for display and writing for different audiences.

Breaks can be scheduled for either 15 or 30 minutes depending on the time limitations of the school. We ask that students do not leave the museum precinct during this time. A kiosk and toilets are available on site.


Curriculum references (NSW)

NSW History Stages 4 &5

Mandatory - Investigating History

4.1, 4.5,4.6,4.7,4.9, 5.1 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.9

Elective - Constructing History

E4.1, E4.2, E4.3, E4.6, E4.7, E4.9

E5.1, E5.5, E5.6, E5.7 ,E5.9

Marine and Aquaculture technology

Stage 5 general Focus Area

Module 44 – Shipwrecks and Salvage

Further information

Teachers and supervising adults visit FREE of charge within the ratios specified in Plan Your School Visit.

  • Program duration: 2 hours includes 10-minute break
  • Entry to exhibitions and vessels: bookings include free entry to museum exhibitions, Action Stations and destroyer HMAS Vampire (a supervisor/student ratio of 1:15 applies on HMAS Vampire).
  • Location: Peter Doyle Learning Centre, Australian National Maritime Museum, 2 Murray Street, Darling Harbour, Sydney.