In 2010 and 2011, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA), the US Navy, and Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) conducted archaeology surveys in the Patuxent River on a War of 1812 shipwreck. This blog documents our underwater archaeology surveys.

July 29, 2010


July 29, 2010

The survey has been moving along slowly as we wrestled equipment onto the barge and were delayed from diving due to health concerns with the water. A storm event several days ago caused the water in the Patuxent River to become unsafe for fishing and swimming which meant no diving. Some of us are also coming down with poison ivy which is thick along the bank. Ah, the glory of archaeology. The good news is we are back in the water today. After lunch, we stretched a 40 meter base line across the wreck. Since the water is so dark, cable ties are placed at 50cm and 1m increments (1 tie means 50cm and 2 ties signify 1 meter). The archaeologists are diving blind due to zero visibility in the water. They use the cable ties to measure where they are at along the line. Our plan at this time is to carefully probe the ship out to find the area with the least amount of sediment. We suspect it is the center since the bow and stern seem to be pretty deeply buried in the river bottom. Once we find the edge of the wreck, we will set up grids and begin to excavate the sides. Dredging is planned for tomorrow.

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