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ArchaeologyPart of HumanitiesPostgraduate study

Miss Abigail Darville BA, MA

Postgraduate research student

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I am a postgraduate research student interested in further understanding the policies directed at UCH in The Bahamas and management methods of protection through community engagement, increased legislation, and expanding the current antiquities department.

A good relationship isn’t just about the benefits. What’s important is how much value you can put into those encounters.

My passion for maritime archaeology began in the summer of 2017. In the middle of obtaining dive certifications for the PADI Master Scuba Diver qualification and developing my dive safety experience in Cyprus, I spent two weeks at a field school with the NAS and the University of Cyprus. It was my first experience in the field of underwater archaeology and I became fascinated by the work as the team excavated an 18th-century Ottoman period shipwreck, where I learned the process of research, excavation, and conservation.

Although I was intrigued by the field, I wanted to be sure of my career path, and so I joined another field school in 2018 in Ecuador, Cangahua headed by Foothill College from California. During this time I worked on two different units, one of which was a pottery midden, and the other for salvage archaeology. Part of the field school also allowed me to take part in historical and community archaeology and anthropology.

In 2019 I joined Texas A&M in their study of Geological Oceanography on paleoclimate change and coastal geosciences on my home island, Long Island, Bahamas. Additionally at this time, and over several previous summers when at home, I worked with Family Island Research and Education (FIRE) tagging turtles and recording data.

The variety of experiences that I have fortunately gained has helped me to confirm my decision and interest in maritime archaeology.

After graduating from St. Francis Xavier in 2019 in Canada with a BA in anthropology with a focus on archaeology, I looked at universities with Master’s programs in maritime archaeology and similar fields and was accepted to the University of Southampton later that year.

It was here that I fully immersed myself in methods and research involved in maritime archaeology, and despite the short time I spent at the university as a result of the pandemic, I returned a year later to continue my education as a PhD student in 2021.

Research interests

My primary research interests are in Bahamian policy, management methods, and community engagement with underwater cultural heritage.

Other specific interests that I have are:

  • How nautical archaeology in The Bahamas is publicly portrayed in the media.
  • The past and current status of treasure salvaging in The Bahamas.

PhD Supervisors

Dr. Helen Far, Dr. Jo Sofaer and Dr. Jon Adams.

Research group

Centre for Maritime Archaeology

Affiliate research group

Maritime Archaeology

Miss Abigail Darville
Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton
Avenue Campus, Highfield
SO17 1BF
United Kingdom
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