News & Updates

Ship Location

NE Pacific Ocean

Meet the Team - Kelsey Cornwell, Science Intern

Susie Hill / Ocean Exploration Trust


On Thursday, August 23 at 6:20 a.m., Nautilus came across the biggest ancient shipwreck it's seen during this year’s expedition. You should’ve seen the excitement on Kelsey Cornwell’s face as he viewed all of the amphorae lying on the floor of this shipwreck now called “Eratosthenes C” on the video monitor. So, why do I think he was the most excited out of us all? Kelsey is just starting on his journey of becoming an Archaeologist. For him, seeing this shipwreck and its artifacts was like being a kid in a candy store!

As part of his science internship aboard Nautilus, he is identifying the amphorae found on this expedition. Amphora, or amphorae for plural, were storage jars used on ships between 3,000 B.C. and 1600 A.D. to transport goods such as wine, olive oil, and fish garum sauce between countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. So far, Kelsey, along with interning partner, Ben Ballard, have identified more than 150 amphorae during the Nautilus expedition. They identify them by looking at the patterns and unique characteristics of the five main parts of the amphora (the mouth (rim), neck, handles, body, and base) to determine the age and place of origin.

Kelsey just received his Bachelor of Arts in Classical and Medieval Studies from Bates College in Maine. His goal is to receive a Masters in Maritime Archaeology and PhD in Archaeology with an emphasis on 6th and 5th century areas of Greece and Aegean Sea.  He also participated in a field expedition in 2012 with the Archaeological Field School in Cyprus researching the Politika Troulia site dating back to the Late Bronze Age (1600-1200 B.C.).  

Kelsey found his passion for Archaeology through watching Indiana Jones movies and his field studies in school. He says, “it’s mind blowing that no one has seen or touched these artifacts in thousands of years. This is what keeps me inspired to become a successful Archaeologist.”