Kimberly Monk is a research fellow and lecturer in maritime archaeology at the University of Bristol (UK).  Originally from Toronto, she worked with Save Ontario Shipwrecks whilst an undergraduate at Western University. She later received a Master’s degree in Maritime Studies at East Carolina University and completed a PhD in Maritime Archaeology at the University of Bristol. 

Kimberly has been diving for twenty-five years, and has over twenty years’ experience in field archaeology.  She has directed shipwreck projects in the Caribbean, UK, US, and Canada and leads training programmes and workshops in the Great Lakes and abroad. 

Kimberly’s website is:

Reading Shipwrecks: Approaches to the Interpretation of Wreck Remains

When the initial excitement has abated following the discovery of a shipwreck, the vital process of assessment and analysis begins. 

Contiguous Sacrifical Planks from an 18th Century shipwreck, British Virgin Islands (Paul Hubbard)

Through the examination of both hull structure and associated material culture, we may then gain insight into the people, places and events that affected, or were affected by, this individual ship. Frequently, however, material remains are elusive and enigmatic. 

The hull, often decayed and eroded, may be all that remains of the original vessel.  Establishing a positive identification is often challenging at best, especially when time, diving conditions, and site preservation compromise our ability to establish provenance.

Sir Cloudisley Shovel in the Association with the Eagle, Romney and the Firebrand, Lost on the Rocks of Scilly, October 22, 1707′
 (National Maritime Museum) 

This presentation will look at three case studies, HMS Firebrand, a 17th Century Royal Navy Fireship lost on the Isles of Scilly (UK), an 18-19th Century shipwreck assemblage from the British Virgin Islands, and a 19th Century shipwreck from the Great Lakes, to illustrate multidisciplinary approaches to understanding and interpreting extant shipwreck remains.

Photomosaic of Toronto’s Sligo Shipwreck
(S.Oyama, D.Arnberg, K.Monk)

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