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 8, 2011

All Hands on Deck

Today the metal shoring to hold back the sediment in our excavation units arrived at the Patuxent River Park.  MNCPPC loaded the shoring onto a flat bed truck and transferred it up river to the Patuxent River Trailer Park and down to the boat ramp where several US Navy divers assembled, attached the shoring to the side of their boat, and moved it to the shallow waters of the river within reach of the site.
video

Watch a short clip of Navy Divers and others unloading shoring, working on the barge, and filming of the action.

While the Navy was busy moving shoring, the rest of the crew set up and organized the barge, readying it for diving.  Maryland Public Television (MPT) was there to capture the action.  MPT also documented conversations between Susan, Bob, and Julie discussing how to first excavate the wreck. The excavation will begin on the ends of the wreck as well as the center.  Last year we came away with only a curious lead weight---but this year we will encounter artifacts in the hold of the vessel. In addition to the artifacts, we also expect to understand the condition (e.g. did the sides collapse outward) and orientation of the wreck.
 US Navy divers attaching shoring to boat.
 Shoring ready to be assembled.
Dr. Susan Langley talking to Mike English and Tim Pugh.

In addition to organizing shoring and filming, we also tested the pumps to ensure we can start dredging away the sediment first thing tomorrow morning.

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