South West Arm, the last word


What we were looking for…this well above present sea-level in National Park

The SWARM Project is well documented on the URG website, read here. I won’t go into any of the details of what the URG achieved down there in 2005-06, save to say it was a most successful collaboration between our Club and the Maritime Archaeologists involved.

In the last couple of years, some interest in South West Arm has come from the University of New South Wales, not so much from the archaeological point of view, but in their research into the sediments of the fluvial delta, that is S.W. Arm. In January this year, in conjunction with UNSW, the 2 Archaeologists, Cosmos Coroneos and David Nutley did a dive with UNSW at the site of the most promising overhang that we found 8 years ago, and it is very likely that some attempt will be made to do some exploratory coring in the immediate vicinity.

The requirements to take part in an “official” project with both the UNI of NSW and the Archaeologists have changed so much during the last 8 years in the OH&S area, that it is not at all realistic for the URG to take any further part in the on-going work on the (our!) SWARM project; however, we will be kept in the loop as to progress when and if it comes to hand. That said, whatever may be found in years to come, the URG, with the guidance of the Archaeologists will always get the credit for finding these sites in the first place. Without the enthusiasm of Wayne Hack, Tony Wright and Dave Neal, as well as Cosmos asking me over a coffee at Stanmore if the URG (and specifically the use of our boat) might be interested in having a look in South West Arm for any potential submerged overhangs, the project would never have taken place. For those of us who were involved, it was incredibly satisfying.


Wayne Hack in T-2a. One of the overhangs that we found underwater in South West Arm

Note: Please have a read of Geology and Archaeology: Submerged Landscapes of the Continental Shelf, page 276 where it says:

“Critical to the successful prosecution of this project has been the contribution made by the Underwater Research Group (URG), a non-commercial SCUBA Diving Club, which initiates and participates in projects related to marine conservation, includes at least one member with archaeological training, and which provided the regular diving component and the dive boat for the project”

This article originally appeared in May 2014 bulletin – [ddownload id=”285″]