Merna Ahmed- CMAUCH- 2022
I am an archaeologist. I graduated from the Department of Archaeology and Greek and Roman Studies, Faculty of Arts, Alexandria University. I studied Greek and Roman Archaeology and an overview of Egyptian and Islamic Archaeology, as well as Maritime Archaeology.
When I studied maritime archaeology at university, I was so interested to enrol on such a study; that’s why I focused and got a high rank in maritime archaeology subject.
Through my studies, I gained a strong background in maritime archaeology, thanks to my professor, Emad Khalil, who gave us an overview of all topics related to the field. However, what really caught my attention was learning about site formation processes, which Keith Muckelroy began discussing in 1978. I wanted to know how an underwater archaeological site is formed, the stages it goes through, how these stages differ from one sea to another, and the factors that affect them.
When Professor Emad Khalil mentioned the Honor Frost Foundation and its support to the Eastern Mediterranean to promote maritime archaeology in this region, I read a lot about it and wanted to be part of this wonderful entity. Therefore, I applied for the scholarship offered by the Foundation in 2022. Fortunately, for me, I obtained a scholarship to study for a diploma and master’s degree in Maritime Archaeology at Alexandria Centre for Maritime Archaeology & Underwater Cultural Heritage (CMAUCH).
I am pleased to announce that I have completed my first year of my master’s degree at CMAUCH and have gained a wealth of experience and knowledge. I am thrilled to have excelled academically and achieved the highest rank in my class. Through my studies, I have discovered my passion for site formation processes, which will be the focus of my master’s thesis.
Alongside my studies at the CMAUCH, I had the opportunity to participate in various activities. One of those activities was “Bahar” project, where I helped increase children’s awareness of maritime archaeology, also I obtained a one-star CMAS diver’s license.
Recently, I joined the “SHARE” project team, which focuses on the documentation of officially published ancient shipwreck sites located in the area (i.e. the Levantine and the Aegean Sea), dating from prehistory up to the 19th century AD.
I also attended important workshops on public engagement with Maritime cultural heritage by Dr. Daneille Newman. Furthermore, I had the pleasure of attending Dr. Gersande Diemer’s lecture on “Woodcraft in Ancient Egypt.”
Although I have attended many practical lectures at the centre, I faced the challenge of lacking experience in underwater fieldwork because I did not have the opportunity to apply for fieldwork training. To overcome this, I plan to participate in field training to gain more experience, which will be beneficial for my thesis.
In the upcoming academic year, I am excited to work on my proposed thesis research and further develop myself by attending more courses and training. I plan on taking a two-star CMAS diving course and applying to the Advanced Underwater Archaeology course in the Zadar region of Croatia. Additionally, I am looking forward to participating in the Under the Mediterranean Conference and The Maritime Archaeology Graduate Symposium (MAGS).
Lastly, I want to express my appreciation to the Honor Frost Foundation, which has been incredibly beneficial to graduate students in the field of maritime archaeology in all aspects, beyond providing them with support to attend training, conferences, and scholarships. I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship from them which helped me complete my studies in this field. I also want to thank all the CMAUCH staff because they provided their students with everything they needed to be able to complete their academic journey.