Ford and Graduate Students Participate in Underwater Archaeological Excavation

Posted on 7/20/2012 9:57:43 AM

Professor Ben Ford and Applied Archaeology MA students Callista Holmes and Glen Henson recently spent 18 days as part of a team recording a likely late-18th-century shipwreck near the mouth of the Chagres River, off the Atlantic Coast of Panama.

Glen and Calli at the World Heritage Site of Castilo San Lorenzo

 Glen (on top of structure) and Calli at Castilo San Lorenzo, a World Heritage Site, in Panama 

The shipwreck recording was part of a larger project, led by Frederick Hanselmann of Texas State University, that included professional archaeologists from federal agencies and the private sector.

Despite bad weather, rough seas, and poor visibility, the IUP contingent was able to spend several hours underwater recording the wreck using 1 x 1 m drawing squares. Henson will transfer the underwater records to a scaled plan of the wreck.

The identity of the ship has not been confirmed at this time. However, future research focusing on the cargo, methods of ship construction, and historic records will likely produce a probable candidate.

Close up of Glen and Calli

Calli (left) and Glen at Castilo San Lorenzo