Hundreds Of Years Old Shipwreck Discovered Off North Carolina Coast

Posted: Jul 18 2015, 12:48am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Hundreds of Years Old Shipwreck Discovered Off North Carolina Coast
Photo of the remnants of the shipwreck in the seabed off of the North Carolina coast. Photo Credit: Duke University

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Scientists at Duke University discover previously unknown centuries old shipwreck at North Carolina Coast.

Marine scientists from Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of Oregon discovered a previously unknown shipwreck on July 12 during a research expedition aboard the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) research ship Atlantis. The discovered artifacts put the age of the ship to that of the American Revolution (1765 - 1783).

The American Revolution was a political upheaval that took place between 1765 and 1783 during which colonists in the Thirteen American Colonies rejected the British monarchy and aristocracy, overthrew the authority of Great Britain, and founded the United States of America.

The researchers found the wreck while using WHOI’s robotic autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry and the manned submersible Alvin. Among the artifacts discovered amid the shipwreck's broken remains are an iron chain, a pile of wooden ship timbers, red bricks (possibly from the ship cook’s hearth), glass bottles, an unglazed pottery jug, a metal compass, and another navigational instrument that might be an octant or sextant.

“This is an exciting find, and a vivid reminder that even with major advances in our ability to access and explore the ocean, the deep sea holds its secrets close,” said expedition leader Cindy Van Dover, director of the Duke University Marine Laboratory.

“I have led four previous expeditions to this site, each aided by submersible research technology to explore the sea floor -- including a 2012 expedition where we used Sentry to saturate adjacent areas with sonar and photo images,” Van Dover said. “It’s ironic to think we were exploring within 100 meters of the wreck site without an inkling it was there.”

Bruce Terrell, chief archaeologist at the Marine Heritage Program, says it should be possible to determine a date and country of origin for the wrecked ship by examining the ceramics, bottles and other artifacts.

Via the Duke University.

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