The Honor Frost Foundation awarded nine bursaries to scholars from the HFF region for attendance at the 15th International Symposium on Boat and Ship Archaeology (ISBSA), held from the 22nd to the 27th October 2018 in Marseilles.
Over 80 papers and 40 posters were presented at the conference covering a huge variety of themes including ship construction, recent discoveries, ethnographic approaches, current research methods and experimental archaeology. Overall the bursary recipients were able to attend the majority of the presentations as well as the museum visit and sailing excursions. Several participants noted the value of the ethnography session to contributing to their own research as well as the research methods sessions which provided a better understanding of new techniques for the rapid recording of ship timbers and current approaches to dating, documenting, environmental sampling and conservation. Achileas Ianosos ‘left the conference with a greater understanding and appreciation of ship-building’.
Bringing together researchers from across the world also meant that the conference provided many opportunities for networking and collaboration, particularly useful as many of the bursary recipients are current MA and PhD candidates, several commented on the value of meeting and talking to other researchers which has contributed to their own research – ‘attending the conference has brought up a different question with regards to my research that I have not considered before’ (Nesrin El Galy). Alongside this the conference provided the opportunity for future collaboration on projects and fieldwork, forging relationships which will help assist with their future careers as well as possible future PhD’s and postdoctoral research.
Several recipients presented their own research either as a paper or a poster, this opportunity allowed them to share their current work with other researchers, exchanging ideas, providing encouragement and helping frame ideas for future projects. The opportunity ‘to attend the conference gained me with information, experiences and relationships in the field of boat and ship archaeology is priceless at the beginning of my research and career path’ (Sarah Wagdy).