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August 2006 & July-August 2007Interactive Dig Black Sea: Shipwreck Research Project
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Percham Ridge offers up some of the best views of the Crimean mountains and the north coast of the Black Sea. The strenuous hike is well worth the effort.
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His arms full with carefully coiled air hoses, our director, Sergey Zelenko, wades to shore after a full day of productive diving.
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Team two surfaces, showing off some of the complete amphorae found on their dive.

Photos courtesy BSSRP. Click on images for larger versions where available.
by Derek Irwin

From the Field: August 31, 2006

Last weekend a few of the team members took to the mountains during our time off to get a bird's-eye view of Sudak and Novy Svet. With Ivan leading the way, Frederik, Brian, Derek, and a couple of the Ukrainian team members hiked to the top of Perchem Ridge, where they met with stunning views of the Black Sea coastline to the south and the Crimean mountains to the north. While the trip was a bit more strenuous than advertised, the group was delighted with the rewards of their labor. With the boys out conquering their fear of heights, the female team members spent the day conquering the glaze-ware jigsaw puzzle that was once the cargo of now sunken ships. The following day was a bit more restful, with the team members hanging out around camp and strolling about Novy Svet.

[image] Team two at camp

After the eventful weekend, the team got back into their wetsuits and became acquainted with the Air Line hookah compressor. With a little help from lady luck, we began and ended the week with the discovery of three nearly intact amphorae. The first two were found on Monday by team members Brian Seymour and Alexander Ovenko. Alexander struck gold again on Friday when he uncovered a larger--intact, but sadly not sealed--globular amphora. On the scuba tank side of the excavation, in the area we mapped out last week, Heidi Inman and Nikita Zelenko came across a nearly complete dining vessel with remarkable slip painting and glaze work. Other finds this week included many magnificent pieces of glaze-ware and pottery of various sizes, shapes, and types. Some of these finds also have distinct and mysterious graffiti and inscriptions that have yet to be deciphered.

All the hard work finally pays off:
team two hits it big with multiple complete amphora finds.
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Aside from the fabulous finds, we had other reasons to celebrate this week. Heidi turned 24 on Wednesday and we all enjoyed some cake while she opened her uniquely Crimean gifts to the sound of the Russian version of "The Birthday Song." The following day was Ukrainian Independence Day and even though we couldn't find any Kalashnikovs to fire, we had a great time nonetheless.

[image] The team takes a break to celebrate Heidi's birthday with some Ukrainian treats.

Following a week of exciting finds and celebrations, we are sad to say our goodbyes. Heidi is lucky enough to stick around for another couple of weeks, but the rest of the team is headed home. Before we prepared to leave, however, the team was presented with some lovely parting gifts and a bountiful farewell feast. Each of the team members leaves with memories and experiences they will never forget and hope that sometime soon we will meet again.

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