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

Location: Monte Cristi, Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic

July 1, 2018 to July 28, 2018

Session dates: 
Please see web page for information

Deadline Type: 
Contact for details

Program Type

Field school

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 in July 2018.


In 1783 Le Dragon was the last French warship lost in the American Revolutionary War, literally by hours. 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 2018 season, is to uncover the starboard side of the ship, locate the stern section 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.

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 students survey and exploration techniques as well as documentation of artifacts. 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: 

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

See website for full information

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
ADMAT & Save Ontario Shipwrecks (NAS Canada) Membership of the Toronto SOS/NAS Chapter is required.
Number of credits offered: none
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
Recommended Bibliography: 

J. Richard Steffy, Wooden Ship Building and the Interpretation of Shipwrecks, 1994, 1998, College Station, Texas