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 9, 2010

An Interesting Discovery...

On the last day of the project, we discovered a lead artifact associated with the shipwreck. We are not exactly sure what it is, but it appears to be a large fishing weight. It is hand formed and is grooved on the ends and in the middle. If you have any ideas of what it could be, please let us know. We will continue our analysis of the object and reveal its function after a few more weeks of research.

Unfortunately, we have reached the end of the shipwreck survey for this year. The barges will be passing under our Maryland 4 bridge at around 4pm today. We hope to raise enough money for next year to conduct additional excavations and to hydroprobe out the second magnetic anomaly that may be a second wreck just down stream from our current location. Thank you for following and be sure to check back on a monthly basis for any updates!


  1. I wonder if it is a weight for a sounding line. It isn't shaped like more modern ones, but this was a river craft and before manufactured products.

  2. I also vote for a sounding line weight It also resembles the weight one uses on a circular cast net,much like the one used in low country South Carolina today.

  3. Not a weight for a sounding line, but a weight for the bottom line of a fishing net.

  4. I doubt it's part of the original wreck.

  5. Not right shape for sounding lead. A line was attached to a ring on one end of it and usually....
    "Cast in solid lead, each lead has a dimple or "well" in the base that should be "armed" with tallow or wax to collect a sample of the sea floor."