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August 2006 & July-August 2007Interactive Dig Black Sea: Shipwreck Research Project

2006 Team 1 Bios


Benjamin Goetsch
I first learned about the Pisa Wreck and the BSSRP while finishing my B.A. in Old World Archaeology and Art at Brown University in 2005. The InteractiveDig "Beneath the Black Sea" inspired me to learn more about the project and eventually led to my own participation in the project during that following summer. I had learned most of my archaeological skills in 2002 as a student on the Anglo-American Project in Pompeii, a field school run by the University of Bradford. I then went on to be a trench supervisor for the 2004 and 2005 seasons of Brown's excavations of the second-century A.D. Roman town of Tongobriga in Portugal. I was able to join the Pisa Wreck project largely through winning the Lauren Mini Hicks Prize for Appreciation in Classical Archaeology from Brown University, which funded my work for that summer.

When I first arrived on the scene in the Crimea, though I was utterly confused by the Ukrainian language, I was blown away by the beautiful landscape and warmth of the people. The site intrigued me and appeared to be full of potentially great finds and discoveries. At the end of the season I was sad to leave my new friends and the work I started with them. It was at this time I had the idea to organize a team for the next season for the project's field school. I realized my experience with the project could enhance the experience for other students and streamline the logistics of diving so far from home.

As an alum, I went back to Brown University for a series of lectures and talks that I gave to various classes and departments to promote the project. The response was overwhelming, and the student population's need for such a hands-on program in underwater archaeology was apparent. News of the project made it as far as Colby College, which one of this year's team members attends. We already have plans for next year and hope to find more divers and archaeologists out there to fill our ranks. If you would like to contact me concerning next season's field school, email me at bengoetsch@gmail.com.


Hillary Smith
I am about to enter my junior year at Colby College in Waterville, ME, where I am studying English Language & Literature and Russian Language, Literature & Culture. I have been SCUBA diving since age twelve and plan to study to become a DiveMaster in the fall. I enjoy eating gruel, not showering, and missing flights on purpose.


Kimberley Koper
I graduated from Brown University in 2005 with bachelor's degrees in Old World Art and Archaeology and Classics. Last summer, I spent six weeks excavating the Roman town of Tongobriga in Portugal, but this project is my first foray into the world of underwater archaeology. I enjoy endlessly dusting off rocks for photographs in 110° F heat, cursing in Dutch to the surprise and delight of my fellow team members, and being serenaded by cicadas.


Gabriel Miller
I am a rising sophomore at Brown University, originally from Miami, Florida. Although currently I am undecided about my major, I am interested in biology and history. I am always happy to learn something new, and this experience of intensive diving and archaeology is giving me plenty to be happy about. This is my first archaeological expedition.


Megan Goetsch
From an early age, I have had a passion for photography. So when my brother, leader of this fine expedition, asked me to join as the documenter, I gladly accepted. I am studying film and media at Brown University and am entering my sophomore year. New to scuba diving and archaeology I hope to aid the group with my background in documentary productions and general joviality.


Martina Jirouskova
I am from the Czech Republic and I have been studying the archaeology of Greece and Rome at the Charles University in Prague for four years. I am especially interested in the Byzantine Empire and its history. Participation on this project is my first meeting with underwater archaeology. I got my previous archaeological experience excavating on land. I am mad about Greece, and I visit it as often as possible. I love mountaineering and rock-climbing as well as swimming in the sea at midnight.

2006 Team 2 Bios


Derek Irwin is from Ireland and holds an M.A. and M.Phil. in ancient history. He's a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Paris X, and is living in Athens where he is carrying out research for his thesis. He has been interested in maritime archaeology for several years and has been diving since 1999. Derek is delighted to be in Ukraine and feels honored to be part of Dr. Zelenko's team. He hopes that there will be more projects like this one in the coming years. If you would like to contact him email him at fishderk@hotmail.com.


Brian Seymour is from the United States and graduated from Emory University in 2004 with a B.A. in English. Brian currently works as an archaeological surveyor in southwestern Pennsylvania, and is looking forward to an exciting change of pace once he heads across the pond in late September to attend the University of Southampton in England. While in England, Brian will study various aspects of Marine Archaeology, both scientific and theoretical, and hopes his experience in Ukraine will help to direct his future research. He also hopes the Black Sea expedition will provide him with some new friends and perhaps even future colleagues in this fascinating field of study.


Heidi C. Inman comes to Ukraine from Charlotte, North Carolina. She recently graduated from Winthrop University with a B.A. in history and plans to continue her education in underwater archaeology at the University of Bristol this fall. She discovered the Black Sea Program on the internet and was very excited to be given this wonderful opportunity to further her hands on experience at this amazing location.


Frederik Roelens is from Belgium and is a third year B.A. student in archaeology/geography at Ghent University. The approach at his university is more orientated toward geoarchaeology and therefore he is more experienced in land archaeology. However, he is very interested in maritime archaeology and is very happy to participate in the Black Sea Shipwreck Research Project.

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