Maritime Research & Consultancy (MR&C) is committed to provide the best maritime archaeology solutions and services worldwide.
Our services range from archival research and geophysical survey to underwater assessment, public relations and corporate fundraising. We work globally for governmental organizations, foundations, research institutions and corporates.
We work together with the best and most professional companies in the field of maritime archaeology and geophysical survey.
Founder of Maritime Research & Consultancy is David Bouman MA, a passionate maritime archaeologist with worldwide experience as researcher, diver and project director. In 2007 he graduated from the University of Amsterdam (West-European Archaeology) and Leiden University (Maritime Archaeology). He is specialized in underwater archaeological excavation and survey, archival research, public- and media relations and fundraising.
He is also a professional and experienced senior business manager, with broad experience in marketing, sales and management. Strong in new business, negotiating, 'dealmaker', building partnerships, finding creative solutions. Strong proven track record.
This week we received the assignment from Consultany and Engineerning firm Witteveen+Bos for a Desk Based Assessment (DBA) for the Port of Cotonou project in Benin, West-Africa.
The consortium Witteveen+Bos (W+B) & Transport Business Solutions (MTBS) is preparing the associated investment and financing plan, a port organisation plan and a plan for the implementation of short-term measures. The master plan has been commissioned by the Dutch Embassy in Benin.
Figure 1. Research area, Port of Cotonou. Source: W+B.
The possible dredging and land reclamation represents a direct impact on the seabed in the designated port area, which itself poses a credible threat to and/or destruction of the underwater Cultural Heritage present in the area. The same goes for the various construction work, such as the building of breakwaters that will be carried out during the renovation of the port.
Commissioned by Witteveen+Bos Delta Heritage & Archaeology has carried out a feasibility study on the presence, availability and accessibility of resources for a Desk Based Assessment for the Maritime Cultural Heritage in the period February to March 2016 (phase 1). The results of this study were positive.
The next step (phase 2) is the actual execution of the Desk Based Assessment (DBA) for the Maritime Cultural Heritage in and around the port of Cotonou. This week W+B has assigned MR&C / Delta Heritage & Archaeology for the realization of this DBA. We are are all very pleased and proud with this assignment!
Delta Heritage & Archaeology is a joint venture between two Dutch companies: Maritime Research & Consultancy (MR&C) and ADC-Archeoprojecten (ADC).
From August 7 till August 20, David will team up again with the Gnalic wreck excavation in Croatia. He joined the excavation already in 2013 and 2014 which revealed newly discovered parts of the ships hull and wooden barrels with cargo. This year work will continue in lower parts of the wreck and not yet exposed parts of the hull and cargo holds.
During a storm in 1583, this large ship loaded with cargo from Venice and headed to Constantinople sank off near Biograd, Croatia. Amateur divers discovered the remains at a depth of about 80 - 100 feet (25 – 30 meters). The wreck is currently being investigated by a joint team from the University of Zadar and Texas A&M University, under the direction of Dr. Irena Radi-Rossi and Prof. Filipe Castro.
From July 1 till July 22 David will be joining the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP)in St. Augustine, Florida, USA. David will be in a leadership position for the field school, which has 12 students this year (this is the highest number of students in ten years of running the field school!).
The Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) is dedicated to the investigation, interpretation and better understanding of the maritime history and archaeology of St. Augustine, the "First Coast" region of Florida, and beyond. Through historical research and scientific study of shipwrecks and other maritime archaeological sites, LAMP seeks to engage local and visiting communities while exploring the dynamic story of our nation's oldest port city.
For more information on LAMP: http://www.staugustinelighthouse.org/LAMP/About_LAMP/LAMP_about
For a large dredging project in East Africa, MR&C and Delta Heritage & Archaeology have been asked by a leading Dutch Consultanty firm to join the Expression of Interest (EoI) for consultancy services for Environmental and Social Impact Assessment. MR&C will act as a portal for all the marine requirements. Project details will follow later (expected July) when the shortlist will be made public by the port authorities.
In the scope of a masterplan study, conducted by Witteveen+Bos and Maritime & Transport Business Solutions B.V., for the potential development of the port of Cotonou, Delta Heritage & Archaeology carried out a study on the existence and accessibility of sources on the presence of maritime cultural heritage.
Development of the port could have a serious impact on maritime cultural heritage, if present. A Desk Based Assessment (DBA) is a first step in determining whether or not maritime cultural heritage is known to exist in the research area and describes its archaeological potential. For a DBA, a wide range of sources (archival, historical, nautical, etc.) need to be consulted. Therefore, Delta Heritage & Archaeology carried our a thorough investigation on the availability and accessibility of such resources for the Cotonou area. Besides, we contacted Beninese and international key figures in the field of Beninese archaeology and (maritime) heritage.
The results show that there are ample historical and other resources available to conduct a succesful DBA. Moreover, considering historical seafaring routes, factories, and the presence of a fortification within or close to the research area, the port of Cononou should be regarded as an area with high (maritime) heritage potential.
Image source: Carte des Établissements français du Golfe de Bénin / par Victor Ballot, administrateur principal des colonies, résident de France au Bénin. 1889; lith. F. Appel, 12 rue du Delta, Paris
Arcadis Netherlands has approached Delta Heritage & Archaeology for a proposal to conduct a Desk Based Assessment for the Maritime Cultural Heritage and Archaeology for the Port of Salalah project, Oman. Our proposal completes the Marine archeology chapter of an Environmental Impact Assessment. This includes methodology (desktop and surveys (if required)), baseline description, assessment of construction and operational impacts, mitigation, residual effects and monitoring requirements.
Delta Heritage & Archaeology has been asked to write the Maritime Cultural Heritage page for the ESIA for a dredging and especially the disposal area (ca. 1 million cubic square meter) near Cartagena, Columbia. Significant adverse effects from indirect impacts to underwater cultural heritage, if present, may occur during activities in and/or in the vincinity of the the disposal area, such as:
- propeller wash and dynamic positioning (damage to or disturbance of archaeological material exposed or undermined by propeller wash);
- anchoring and jack-up barges (physical damage to archaeological material and deformation of the surrounding seabed deposits, unexpected retrieval of archaeological material caught on anchors, etc.);
- dredged material disposal (displacement of archaeological material present within disposed materials, loss of context)