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 11, 2011

Already on the Wreck

Today, there were two teams of archaeologists working on the the bow and stern of the wreck--we are not sure which end is which, but we should find this out by the end of the week. Based on the hydroprobing results, the wreck appears to be at a bit of an angle in the river and is orientated in a northwest to southeast direction.

View of map showing hydroprobe results with the black line delineating the baseline.

The north, or upstream, end of the wreck was reached this afternoon.  A 10 ft. x 6 ft. trench was dredged down on the north end of the wreck to try and delineate the edges and end. We stopped at the clay silt stratum that encases the wreck. During the dredging, a piece of worked pine wood was encountered and immediately placed back in water on the barge for conservation.
Worked, pine wood piece found just on top of the wreck this afternoon. 

While the northern end of the wreck was being delineated, the second team of archaeologists worked to expose the southern end of the wreck. During the dredging of the sandy overburden, an animal bone popped up that looks like a vertebrae from a deer or other medium sized mammal.  Since it was not in direct association with the wreck, it may just be a random bone deposited in the more recent past. 

A medium sized mammal vertebrae recovered from the sandy stratum above the wreck.

Tomorrow, we will be back on the wreck and may even begin screening the thin, silty-clay stratum over the wreck. Make sure to visit MPT's blog on the making of Search for the Scorpion.

The bubbles on the left and then on the right show divers dredging the ends of the wreck.

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