What skills do maritime archaeologists need to succeed in commercial archaeology? In this article by Andrea Hamel and Toby Gane, the Wessex Archaeology maritime archaeologists examine the skills that students will need to succeed in the commercial sector. An excerpt from the forthcoming book Bridging the Gap: Creating Maritime Research Communities, this article is important for students, academics training the next generation of maritime archaeologists, and for commercial archaeologists.
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"Not all that long ago, commercial marine archaeological contracts were relatively uncommon compared to terrestrial work. However, in the last fifteen years or so, the numbers of contracts have been growing due to development pressure to build offshore wind farms, extract aggregates, install cable routes and increase port capacity.
In order to meet this growing demand, the number of archaeological contractors able to undertake commercial marine archaeology has increased. However, finding team members that have a sufficient level of archaeological competence, knowledge, aptitude and experience for commercial work is challenging.
While universities teach a wide range of subject matter on courses dedicated to marine archaeology, they do not always insist that individuals attain good quality experience in the field and in post-excavation processes and tasks. This can result in a skills gap that becomes apparent when individuals then apply to work in a commercial marine archaeological environment.
This article aims to draw attention to the skill requirements for those who aspire to work in the competitive and challenging environment of commercially funded archaeology."
Download the full article here.