01 Jul Wood and Iron
As the archeological investigation continues on our site in Biscayne National Park, the old wooden ship continues to present us clues to her past. Some of the artifacts we have found thus far are copper fasteners, ranging in size from tacks to 1/3 of a meter, glass shards in multiple colors, leather, ceramics, and other ferrous metals. Considering this is the first formal investigation of the wreck, we truly don’t know what to expect. In fact, on our last dive today, we have found features that present the possibility that the site is not one shipwreck, but possibly two. Because the fastener patterns and two features which should be the same are not, mean it is very likely we are uncovering a ship upon a ship. If you are reading this and are asking yourself how likely this really is, the answer is very likely. Just recently, a boat ran aground one of the reefs in the park and exposed sediment in the process. When this happened, the park went and made a condition assessment of the aftermath and discovered a shipwreck in the pit the boat had created. Add this modern grounding to the vast list of the Florida Keys’ rich maritime activity for over 400 years, and there you go. Currently we do not have an artifact, or exposed a unique piece of the ship that is indicative of the ship’s origin. However, because the fastener patterns and materials we have uncovered, we are able to conclude that the ship, or ships, are likely built in the early 1800’s. Hopefully by the end of the project we will find an artifact that will tell the ship’s story, but until then, we will continue to dig up an old wooden ship and try to make sense of it.