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.

August 2, 2010

Archaeologists on board!

We worked through the weekend and now have the sand and muck pulled back enough to place the metal shoring in our units. The shoring is a necessity since the sediment keeps filling in behind you. Susan mentioned how she felt that she cleared about an acre behind her, only to find it had silted back in. She was able to find planking and saw two nails. The visibility is low, but you can still see about a foot or so in front of you. We also had Don Shomette out to the site. He shared some of the discoveries from 30 years ago at this same site. We also discussed whether or not he thought it was the USS Scorpion. We are of like minds....some evidence for it being the USS Scorpion and some evidence for it not being Barney's flagship. Whatever it is, there will be an amazing artifact collection. Don mentioned an array of medicine and salve bottles as well as a lantern, still left on board. The preservation is suppose to be pretty amazing as well. I told him that I heard that meat was still left on the bones of the sailor's rations. I asked if he meant that there was adipocere. He said no, there was actually meat on the bone! What? In terrestrial archaeology we just hope the bone does not crumble in our hands! Tomorrow I will post a bunch of photos.

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