Deep Gulf Shipwreck Project Wraps
Work on the Monterrey Wreck site wrapped earlier today, and the crew of E/V Nautilus is heading for the barn:
The most recent exploration of the shipwreck ended Wednesday, when a research team onboard the NOAA vessel Nautilus finished recovering artifacts. Items found on the ship included anchors, navigational instruments, muskets, pistols, swords, cannons, glass bottles, ceramic plates and clothing, according to releases from NOAA and A&M. The Nautilus is scheduled to return to Galveston Thursday, and the artifacts will be transported to A&M’s Cultural Resources Laboratory at the Riverside Campus in College Station, a university spokeswoman said. To help with the 24-hour recovery expedition, A&M Galveston’s Information Services Department built an exploration command center on campus to enable NOAA and university scientists to monitor and help guide the expedition in real time, the university said in a news release Wednesday. The shore-based station was in direct communications with the technicians onboard the Nautilus at the site to advise and help direct the recovery of artifacts, the release said. Communications included live audio and high-definition video. From the remote station on campus, A&M Galveston’s Gilbert Rowe, a marine archaeologist, and lecturer Tom Oertling helped the NOAA team on the Nautilus with identification of marine life and artifacts. Researchers still haven’t identified what type of ship it was or where it came from, but they date the artifacts to between 1800 and 1830, the A&M release said. Evidence retrieved so far suggests the vessel was a warship transporting arms and soldiers, possibly to support either Spain or Mexico in their war with each other, the release said. Besides Spanish and Mexican artifacts, cannons believed to be British were found.
Coolness. Now the really revealing-but-un-glamorous work begins, with months of work in the lab to conserve, document and identify the artifacts recovered.
To get an idea of the depth at which this team was operating, check out a scale diagram of E/V Nautilus, the sled Argus and ROV Hercules after the jump.
Each pixel is 1 foot across: