A remarkably low tide has revealed the remnants of a ship in a river delta near Mobile Alabama. Historians believe that this may be the wreck of the Clotilda, a schooner used to bring some 110 slaves from West Africa to Alabama in 1860. The Clotilda is believed to be the last ship to bring slaves to the United States.
The 16th century Swedish shipwreck Mars the Magnificent will now be explored thanks to a grant by the National Geographic Society. Like similar wrecks (the Vasa comes to mind immediately) the wreck of the Mars is expected to yield all sorts of artifacts and give historians and archaeologists a detailed view of what is a fairly famous ship in the history of Sweden.
Like I mentioned in my earlier post, I have managed to rebuild our server into a better machine than it was. But for some reason the hard drive from the old server was giving me fits, trying to move data. Perhaps it was damaged somehow. I am not sure.
But I do know this: a backup of the backups saved our data.
The ability of human beings to work in an underwater environment has obviously improved pretty dramatically in the last few decades, and our ability to find the wrecks of vessels like the Titanic in thousands of feet of water many decades later is pretty amazing when you think about it.
But there is still a long way to go when it comes to underwater searches. The problems with locating that missing Malaysian Air flight immediately come to mind, but there have been a few other examples lately that make me wonder what the hell we are doing wrong and what we could do to improve.
We seem to have a widespread problem of not finding people in (relatively) shallow waters like lakes, ponds, rivers, and creeks.
One of the great things about history and archaeology is when things that are known in the historic record can be verified by actual physical evidence. But often the evidence simply cannot be found for historic events, even as historians and archaeologists have searched for years.
But sometimes, careful research (with a bit of luck) pays off.
Researchers in Britain have found the long-lost grave of King Richard III, the Plantagenet monarch long slandered by his Tudor successors (and by none other than William Shakespeare as well).
The continual adaptation of modern technology to the discovery of shipwrecks, especially historically significant shipwrecks, is something that fascinates me. So when I saw this story in Salon about the use of a 3-D sonar to reveal hidden features of a Civil War shipwreck off the coast of Texas, I just had to read it. And if that sort of thing interests you, go check it out, because I am going to babble about history geek stuff for a little while and you might as well understand what I am talking about.