IUP anthropologists searching for shipwrecks by using geophysical equipment on the frozen surface of Lake Erie were recently featured in an Erie News Now broadcast.
The team took advantage of the frozen lake to use technologies designed for use on land to look for shipwrecks in Misery Bay. One goal of the research was to test if ground-penetrating radar could be used to find a submerged and buried shipwreck. Based on the preliminary results, it seems that it can. The other goal was to identify the location of historically recorded shipwrecks in the bay. Among these wrecks is a vessel that was used in Perry’s defeat of the British in the Battle of Lake Erie. More work will be required ti determine if this historically significant wreck was among the targets identified. A gradiometer was also used in the research.
Divers from the Pennsylvania Archaeology Shipwreck Survey Team (PASST) cut a hole in the ice and dived on one target to confirm that the archaeologists had in fact identified a man-made object. IUP will collaborate with PASST, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and other local partners to further investigate the geophysical anomalies.
Applied Archaeology MA student Zaakiyah Cua led the expedition under the direction of Bill Chadwick and with logistical assistance from Ben Ford. Steven Campbell and Ross Owen, also students in the Applied Archaeology Program, assisted.
The research was funded by the Regional Science Consortium. Pennsylvania Sea Grant and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources helped support the expedition.
Department of Anthropology