ADMAT’s Le Dragon 2020 Maritime Archaeological Excavation Project / Volunteers Program in the Dominican Republic

This listing expired on December 31, 2020. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Calle las Flores, Dominican Republic

Season: July 4, 2020 to August 1, 2020

Session Dates: Please see web page under Projects section for information

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field School, Volunteer

RPA Certified:

Anglo-Danish Maritime Archaeological Team (ADMAT) and ADMAT-FRANCE with Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle at Paris, départememt Préhistoire, UMR-CNRS 7194.

Project Director:
Dr. Simon Q. Spooner BSc, MRICS, PhD, MCIfA.

Project Description:

ADMAT & ADMAT-FRANCE are running Maritime Archaeological Projects in Monte Cristi on the north coast of the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean.  ADMAT are very excited to be undertaking a survey on Le Dragon for the month of July 2020.

In 1783 Le Dragon was the last French warship lost in the American Revolutionary War. This is a unique opportunity to join ADMAT’s maritime archaeological project in the historic town of Monte Cristi on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. ADMAT is working with Oficina Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural Subacuático (ONPCS) and ADMAT-FRANCE based at the Institut de Paléontologie Humaine, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris (UMR-CNRS 7194), to conduct a maritime archaeological survey and excavation of this important American/English/French shipwreck.

The plan for the 2020 season, is to uncover further sections of the stern section, locate the ship’s anchors and if possible and to conduct a gradiometer survey of the surrounding area. The team will also see if we can find the figurehead which we believe is of General Washington if the sand is uncovered from the bow section.

Latest Research undertaken by PhD student Florence Prudhomme of ADMAT-FRANCE has proven that Le Dragon was an English Privateer and an American Privateer before that. When launched as an American Privateer she was called the Washington.

Other surveys will take place at different times during the year, so please keep looking at ADMAT’s web page for further information. Please contact Dr Spooner for further information if you want to join the Team.

The work is being carried out for the Oficina Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural Subacuatico (ONPCS) the Government department responsible for underwater cultural heritage. This project will instruct student’s survey and exploration techniques as well as documentation of artefacts. This is open for all students or volunteers over 18 years of age, with a minimum qualification of PADI Open Water / BSAC Sports Diver or equivalent. The project language is English. Two-week slots are available. Full information about these projects can be found on ADMAT’s website. This is a hands-on course going through the process of artefact documentation working on the artefacts from The Tile Wreck. For further information on this and other projects, please look at ADMAT’s website

Period(s) of Occupation: A.D. 1783 - 1800

Dominican Republic, Maritime Archaeology, Shipwreck, Underwater Cultural Heritage, Nautical, Side Scan Sonar, Proton Magnetometer, Survey, Measure, Record, Artefact Handling.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Two weeks for diving one week for artefact handling courses

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No previous archaeological experience is required for student or volunteer team members, but applicants must speak English and be qualified divers to the level of PADI Open Water or the equivalent.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Accommodation will be at ADMAT's Maritime Archaeological Centre in Monte Cristi. Full board included. Additional information is available on the project website Cost: See website for full information

Academic Credit:
Proof of participation is offered by ADMAT & Save Ontario Shipwrecks (NAS Canada) Membership of the Toronto SOS/NAS Chapter is required.. Tuition is full training in the use of underwater survey and excavation (on Le Dragon), together with artefact handling on artefacts from The Tile Wreck and Le Dragon..

Contact Information:

Dr. Simon Q. Spooner

Anglo-Danish Maritime Archaeological Team (ADMAT).

Canada office

Nova Scotia

B0J 2K0


Phone: 9023472290

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