This program consists of an A/V presentation, a hands-on workshop and a tour of related shipwreck material in the museum. It introduces the concept of archaeology, outlines the development of maritime archaeology and highlights the specifics of working on a submerged site.

Students examine artefacts from shipwrecks, interpret evidence, investigate the role of maritime archaeologists, conservators and curators, and consider the heritage value of shipwrecks.

Curriculum references (NSW)

NSW Ancient History Stage 6
Ancient History 8.1
Investigating the Past: History, Archaeology and Science
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 NSW Marine Studies Optional Module 18: Marine Archaeology

Program structure

A/V Presentation

The workshop focuses on four areas of science related to the sea - buoyancy, corrosion, communication and navigation. These are investigated through a series of observations, activities and experiments. Other options may be available dependent on temporary exhibitions.


Students examine artefacts from shipwrecks, investigate archaeological techniques and consider the interpretation of archaeological material. A professional museum conservator presents a session on identifying a range of materials such as bone, metals and fibres and drawing conclusions from the findings (subject to availability).


Students view a range of shipwreck material on display and are required to observe, analyse, hypothesise and justify.

Booking information

Duration: 90 minute session for an Educator led walk
Cost: $225 per group with a maximum of 15 students
Ratio: A supervisor/student ratio of 1:15 applies

Teachers and supervising adults visit FREE of charge within the ratios specified in Plan Your School Visit.

More information

  • Program duration: 2 hours includes 10-minute break
  • Entry to exhibitions and vessels: bookings include free entry to museum exhibitions, Action Stations and destroyer HMAS Vampire (a supervisor/student ratio of 1:15 applies on HMAS Vampire).
  • Location: Peter Doyle Learning Centre, Australian National Maritime Museum, 2 Murray Street, Darling Harbour, Sydney.