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 18, 2011

Bow or Stern?

Today, we excavated a large amount of sediment from both ends of the wreck.  Within the next day we should expose enough of the exterior of the hull to feel the shape and understand a bit more about the architecture.  The downstream end is full of heavy timbers and may represent the bow....but, we just don't quite have enough exposed to know at this point.  Tomorrow we should know the length of the shipwreck....any guesses?
Another busy day on the barge. Part of the duties of an underwater archaeologist is to keep the pumps running.
During all of the dredging away of the sediment, we often find pieces of garbage in the overburden.  Today we brought up and tossed out a clay pigeon, long glass tube florescent light, coffee can, bottles, and a golf ball. At the end of the day, we found a large jaw bone that may have belonged to a horse. We joked about how Barney had cavalry in his flotilla.  In reality, this bone was found outside, but adjacent to, the upstream part of the wreck--so it may have washed in at anytime during the last 200 years. A faunal analyst will be making the final identification for us.
UPDATE: Dr. Guy Tasa identified the bone as a cow madible, left side. Thanks Guy!
Mandible from a cow (left side).

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