Underwater Metal Detectors Assist in Artifact Recovery

press release
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Cannon recovered from the Warwick, Bottom inset – diver searches wreck site with the Pulse 8X’s deep seeking 16 inch coil, Top inset – James Davidson with Pulse 8X and recovered cannon ball.

Underwater metal detector is successfully used for the African Slave Wrecks Project.

In October 1619 the naval warship Warwick sailed into the King’s Castle Harbour in Bermuda with an important cargo from England; the colony’s new governor, Captain Nathaniel Butler. After taking on provisions the Warwick was to travel onto the struggling colony at Jamestown, Virginia, but it never made the voyage. Before the ship could sail, Bermuda was hit by a fierce hurricane. Battered by strong winds the Warwick broke free from her anchors, was driven into the rocky shore, and torn apart by the pounding waves.
 

In 1969 Mendel Peterson of the Smithsonian Institution and now famous Bermuda shipwreck hunter EB “Teddy” Tucker located the remains of the Warwick and began an examination of the wreckage. What they found was a good part of the hull remained preserved under a pile of ballast stone. Fast forward another 50 years and a new group working under the supervision of the island’s National Museum began a more extensive examination of the site and recovery of some significant historic artifacts. The museum enlisted some renowned experts in the field of marine archaeology to assist in the project. One is Dr. Jon Adams, head of archaeology at the University of Southampton who says “the Warwick is one of the largest and most coherent pieces of early 17th century ship structures ever found.” Dr. Kroum Batchvarov with the maritime archaeology program at the University of Connecticut adds “very few wrecks of the early seventeenth century have been excavated which has limited our knowledge of shipbuilding and seafaring in this period. This makes the archaeological excavation and documentation of the Warwick an important contribution to that body of knowledge.” Professor Kevin Crisman of the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M also thinks this wreck holds enormous potential for educating archaeologists, historians, and the public. “It could illuminate the early years of England’s great century of overseas expansion, a time when the first English colonies were being planted in North America and around the world.”
 

The location of Warwick’s remains makes it an ideal archaeological site. The wreckage lies in 15 to 30 feet of water in a protected harbor. Seventy feet of the hull structure is preserved and researchers are now beginning to excavate, record, and analyze it. During the work this summer divers recovered a cannon, navigational tools, rudder hardware, parts of barrels, and fragments of ceramic containers. One of tools aiding in the recovery work is JW Fishers Pulse 8X underwater metal detector. Diver James Davidson reports, “we have been quite successful with the detector finding a range of targets including cannon balls, musket shot, bar shot, and various lead artifacts at depths up to 3 feet below the seabed, and cannon buried as deep as 6 feet.”


Professor Crisman says “Collectively these finds tell us an amazing story of the changes being wrought in Bermuda and around the world by mariners, merchants, and colonizers. The fabric of the Warwick, it’s framing timbers, planks, beams, and knees are also providing us with a new benchmark for understanding the ships that England sent around the world in the 17th century. We already know much more about the materials, design concepts and assembly practices of early English shipwrights than we did at the start of the excavation.”
 

Another important archaeological project that is employing the underwater metal detector is the African Slave Wrecks Project. One of the primary objectives of the project is to locate and document the wreck sites of ships that carried slaves. Partners in this project include the IZIKO Museums of Cape Town in South Africa, the Slavery Museum of Angola, the US National Park Service Submerged Resource Unit, The Southern African Heritage Resources Agency, and George Washington University. The group intends to identify and preserve maritime culture resources and promote them as tourism sites, an alternative to the commercialization of archaeological artifacts. Louis Mare, one of the researchers on the project reports, “We are very impressed with the Pulse 8X. In our first test on a local beach we recovered two cannon balls along with the usual coinage and some jewelry items. The team is now convinced this device will be an essential tool in our projects.”
 

Other groups using these detectors in their work are Center for Archaeological Studies at Texas State University, the Archaeological Institute at the University of West Florida, the Office of Underwater Science and Educational Resources at the Indiana University Bloomington, the underwater archaeology program at the University of Rhode Island, the Center for Marine Archaeology and Conservation at Texas A&M University, and the Israeli Antiquities Authority. 
 

Maritime Reporter July 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

ABS Grants AIP for Jensen’s LNG ATB Design

A Jensen Maritime-designed, liquefied natural gas (LNG)-bunkering articulated tug-barge (ATB) has been granted approval in principle (AIP) by classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).

SENER Presents on History of Ship Design

The COMPIT annual edition took part this year from May 11-13 in Ulrichshusen, Germany, with the participation of SENER. This event is an International Conference

Canada Commissions Study on Underwater Noise

Green Marine has signed a nine-month contract with Transport Canada to provide insight on underwater noise generated by shipping and its effects on marine life, along with potential solutions.

Marine Electronics

New 20kA Surge Protector for 480V

SSL power solutions manufacturer Thomas Research Products (TRP) has introduced a new surge protector for 480V circuits. The FSP3-480-20kA protects LED luminaires from surges up to 20,000 amps.

Furuno's Bridge Systems for Holland America Cruise Ships

The extensive global network of Furuno service centers, subsidiaries and distributors was one of the reasons that Holland America Line (HAL) chose Furuno when

Simrad Launches New Pro Line Products

Simrad launched three new products in its professional line: the HS60 GPS Compass, V5035 Class-A AIS, and M5000 Series Monitors. Simrad HS60 GPS Compass The new GPS compass,

Salvage

Tanker and Cargo Ship Collided in Shanghai

General cargo vessel "Jiang Xia Xiang" collided with the tanker "Bai Chi" on July 23, 2015, at 1 a.m. in the Wusong area, Shanghai, on the Yangtze river.    The

Araya Adrift in Black Sea

The bulk carrier Araya lost power and adrift on 90 nautical miles off Odessa, Ukraine in Black Sea on July 25.    The carrier, en route from Ilyichevsk Ukraine to Constanta Romania,

Passenger Vessel Runs Aground in Aegean Sea

A passenger vessel (Flying Cat) with a total of 253 persons on board was safely evacuated on Sunday after running aground off Tinos island in the Aegean Sea, Xinhua

Marine Equipment

BTP Handles Millionth Container

Brazil’s newest container terminal hits a series of efficiency milestones   Brasil Terminal Portuário (BTP), Brazil’s newest container terminal in the Port of Santos,

CAPE Holland Deploys New Vibro Lifting Tool

Earlier this week, during its first commercial application, the newly developed Vibro Lifting Tool (VLT) of CAPE Holland has successfully installed four piles in up to 90 meters water depth.

New 20kA Surge Protector for 480V

SSL power solutions manufacturer Thomas Research Products (TRP) has introduced a new surge protector for 480V circuits. The FSP3-480-20kA protects LED luminaires from surges up to 20,000 amps.

History

SENER Presents on History of Ship Design

The COMPIT annual edition took part this year from May 11-13 in Ulrichshusen, Germany, with the participation of SENER. This event is an International Conference

Important Milestones for BTP

Brazil’s newest and most modern container terminal hits a series of major efficiency milestones   Brasil Terminal Portuário (BTP), Brazil’s newest and most modern container terminal,

First Cruise Ship Docks at Teignmouth Port

History was made at ABP’s Port of Teignmouth with the visit of its first ever cruise ship. The Hebridean Princess, a luxury cruise ship, arrived from Dartmouth carrying 50 passengers.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2256 sec (4 req/sec)