Underwater News - Fall 2007
Submitted by Toni Carrell <email@example.com>
After nearly five years of negotiations, managers at Biscayne National Park and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in November 2006 that will facilitate the protection of shipwrecks and other submerged cultural resources. The MOA addresses ways in which the two federal agencies can partner to enhance social science research, resource protection, and public information and education surrounding submerged archaeological sites, objects, and associated records.
"Relic collecting and treasure hunting are still quite prevalent in the waters of the Park and the Sanctuary," said Brenda Lanzendorf, the park's archaeologist and cultural resources manager. "Through this partnership, we will make significant inroads into preserving these vulnerable, non-renewable resources." Although similar agreements exist between these two agencies for protecting seagrasses, coral, and other natural resources, this agreement for shipwreck preservation is unique.
Hundreds of shipwrecks and many other submerged archaeological sites are scattered across the two areas, with dozens of them located along the 30 miles of shared jurisdictional boundary. Both agencies are guided by the Federal Archaeology Program, but until the signing of the MOA, the two agencies worked independently. Managers hope that this cooperative effort will help reveal the stories of a common maritime heritage.
The PAST Foundation's most successful and longest-running field program is its Underwater Archaeology Field School, which was held this year from 30 July to 11 August in the FKNMS. This was the fifth consecutive year for the collegelevel field school. This season, 12 students joined the staff of PAST to research 2 wrecks in the sanctuary. Through a collaborative effort with NOAA, the PAST team studied a group of artifacts recovered in 1992. The artifacts are believed to come from the wreck of the Adelaide Baker, lost in 1889 just south of Duck Key. Built in the 1860s in Maine, the bark is one of the nine wrecks that form the National Marine Sanctuary's Shipwreck Trail. The artifacts are being considered for a touring exhibit and educational programs. The field school participants carefully documented all the objects and then helped the staff of the sanctuary ready them for use in exhibits and education.
The second shipwreck was the Slobodna, built in 1884 in Austria and lost only four years later on Molasses Reef in the Keys. The Slobodna was a composite ship built of wood and iron sailing with a cargo of cotton from New Orleans. Today the wreck sits in 28 feet of water and although it is a well-known dive site, there is no comprehensive site map. This year the PAST team built on the work done in 2005 and focused on creating a detailed site map locating the various ship parts resting on the bottom. Twelve university students joined project director Dr. Sheli O. Smith and assistant director Ann Corscoden in the investigation.
At its 1 February 2007 meeting, the members passed the following resolution: "that the Board recognizes and adopts, as the basis for a model of best practices for the treatment of underwater archeological resources, the International Council on Monuments and Sites Charter on the Protection and Management of Underwater Cultural Heritage (1996), and the Annex to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001), and encourages applicants for underwater archeology permits as well as others to utilize the Charter and Annex for permit and other underwater archeology projects, to the extent consistent with applicable Maryland and federal law."
The Massachusetts BUAR has taken two recent policy actions to improve the treatment of underwater cultural heritage in Massachusetts waters. At its public meeting of 30 November 2006, BUAR passed the following resolution: "It is resolved that the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources recognizes and adopts, to the extent compatible with Massachusetts General Laws, the International Council on Monuments and Sites Charter on the Protection and Management of Underwater Cultural Heritage (1996) as the basis for a model of best practices for the treatment of underwater archaeological resources and encourages our permittees as well as others to utilize this Charter in that manner."
In response to a request from the SHA's UNESCO Committee, BUAR took the additional step of passing on 25 January 2007 the following resolution: "It is resolved that the Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources endorses the Annex to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001), based on the ICOMOS Charter on the Protection and Management of Underwater Cultural Heritage (1996), as best management practice and encourages the timely adoption of its Rules and Principles into provisions and guidelines of all programs involved in the management of underwater cultural heritage, to the extent compatible with applicable state and federal law."
Both actions are important steps toward setting minimum internationally accepted and adhered-to professional scientific standards for the treatment and investigation of the state's underwater cultural heritage. BUAR also adopted in September policy guidance protocols on the discovery of (1) unanticipated human remains and (2) unanticipated underwater archaeological resources, and a FAQ sheet on the discovery of isolated finds.
In June 2007 the wreck of the coal schooner Paul Palmer, which rests on the sea floor within NOAA's Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In compliance with President Bush's Preserve America Executive Order, NOAA is increasing efforts to inventory, preserve, and protect historic resources in the agency's care, from shipwrecks to historic buildings. "The schooner's involvement in the coal trade connected it to Americans throughout the East Coast," said Stellwagen Bank Sanctuary superintendent Craig MacDonald. "Coal carried in schooners like the Paul Palmer powered the industrialization of the northeastern states, one of the greatest economic and social forces in American history."
Built in Waldoboro, ME, the five-masted, 276-foot schooner Paul Palmer was part of William F. Palmer's "Great White Fleet," which at its peak consisted of 15 schooners that carried bulk cargoes along the East Coast and around the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. During its 12-year career, the schooner Paul Palmer transported 280,000 tons of coal, as well as phosphate, railroad ties, ice, and sugar. After unloading coal in Bangor, ME, Paul Palmer departed Rockport, ME, for Virginia on Friday, 13 June 1913. Sailing south, the schooner caught fire off Cape Cod. Several vessels responded to the stricken schooner, but were unable to extinguish the fire. The schooner's crew abandoned ship and were picked up by a waiting fishing boat. The Paul Palmer burned to its waterline and then sank. The Paul Palmer was the only five-masted East Coast schooner to be lost to fire.
Since NOAA's discovery of the thenunknown shipwreck in 2000, the sanctuary has investigated the site with divers, remotely operated vehicles, and autonomous underwater vehicles capturing detailed video and still imagery to document the vessel's construction and artifacts. This research led to the schooner's identification in 2002. The Paul Palmer's partially buried remains lie on the flat, sandy sea floor atop Stellwagen Bank. Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary encompasses 842 square miles of ocean, stretching between Cape Ann and Cape Cod offshore of Massachusetts. Renowned for its scenic beauty and remarkable productivity, the sanctuary is an excellent whale-watching destination and supports a rich assortment of marine life, including marine mammals, seabirds, fishes, and marine invertebrates. The sanctuary's position astride the historic shipping routes and fishing grounds for Massachusetts' oldest ports also make it a repository for shipwrecks representing several hundred years of maritime transportation. For more information contact Deborah.Marx@noaa.gov or visit http://stellwagen.noaa.gov.
The NPS-SRC continued fieldwork on USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor, HI in June 2006 as part of a multiyear, interdisciplinary project to characterize critical processes affecting Arizona, develop a predictive engineering model to Volume 40: Number 3 Fall 2007 Page 66 calculate diminishing structural integrity over time, and produce a long-term preservation plan for the battleship including management alternatives.
The SRC also continued work on submerged sites in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, including a B-29 Superfortress in 200 ft. of water and industrial sites associated with Hoover Dam construction approximately 150-170 ft. deep. In February and March 2006, SRC and Lake Mead personnel conducted side scan sonar survey and began mapping a 1930s aggregate-sorting plant used in dam construction. The 2006 field project was the third year of a planned five-year project in Lake Mead assessing submerged sites associated with all aspects of area usage, both before and after reservoir creation. Daniel Lenihan was project director and Dave Conlin was field director; diving operations included three NOAA personnel for the first time and also first use of mixed-gas closed circuit rebreathers for application to agency diving operations.
SRC conducted field work in collaboration with Kaloko Honokohau National Historical Park staff to document the Aiopio fishtrap on the Big Island in July 2006. This prehistoric Hawaiian fishtrap is scheduled for rehabilitation in 2007 and required baseline documentation before the project could begin.
SRC continued to consult with NPS archaeologists and resource and project managers on removal of the wreck of the ferry Ellis Island from Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Removal of the wreck is a priority for the park prior to rehabilitation of seawall and south-side development at Ellis Island. Conlin is working closely with park and regional personnel, as well as the New York and New Jersey SHPO offices, to develop a documentation plan for wreck removal in 2007. This year's fieldwork included use of laser-scanning applications for structures and the ferry in collaboration with Western Mapping Company of Tucson, AZ.
Biscayne National Park hosted the firstever Submerged Resource Cultural Resource Law Enforcement Class organized by SRC in May 2006. There were 31 participants and 16 instructors. Agencies participating included NPS, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA, Florida Wildlife Conservation, FBI, DOJ, Representatives of Sycuan Tribe, East Carolina University, LAME, Channel Islands National Park, USS Arizona Memorial, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Northwest Hawaiian Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. SRC also completed a short series of dives to investigate geological and hydrological features associated with a limestone sinkhole known as Montezuma Well at Camp Verde, AZ (part of Montezuma Castle National Monument). Finally, SRC continued the preliminary phases of a joint NPS/NOAA/UC-Berkeley project to locate, document, and evaluate submerged cultural resources in Drakes Bay, CA within Point Reyes National Seashore. Remote sensing in 1997-1998 resulted in location of dozens of buried magnetic anomalies that have not yet been evaluated. The current project will conduct additional (aerial) magnetometry to cover areas not accessible by boat, additional analyses to further delineate potential historical wreck locations, and begin anomaly investigation in a phased approach over the next several years. At the same time, museum collections of 16th-century artifacts from the Spanish Manila galleon San Agustin excavated from terrestrial Coast Miwok sites in the 1940s and 1950s will be evaluated in an ongoing reanalysis of the material.
PROAS was created in 1995 with the general goal of studying, preserving, and managing the nation's underwater cultural heritage. In 2006 the focus of PROAS was to conduct intensive fieldwork and related activities regarding the four ongoing archaeological projects within the program. All the sites under study are shipwreck remains and are located off Patagonia in southern Argentina.
HMS Swift was a British sloop of war that sank in 1770 off the coast of what is now Puerto Deseado, Santa Cruz Province, in southern Argentina. The archaeological investigation of the site began in 1998 under the direction of Dolores Elkin. Besides the structural components of the ship itself, of which it is estimated that about 60 percent of the original wooden hull structure is preserved, the archaeological record excavated to date includes a great variety of artifacts made of ceramic, metal, glass, wood, stone, and bone, plus several additional organic remains usually associated with clothing, food, and rigging and stowage materials. During the last field season, conducted in early 2006, a complete human skeleton was found within the excavation zone at the stern, inside the great cabin. The preliminary results of the research conducted by Dr. Gustavo Barrientos indicate that the remains correspond to a young male person (around 25 years old), 1.67 m tall, righthanded, and in very good oral health.
An article on the Swift project, focusing primarily on ship construction, technology, diet, and site-formation processes, is forthcoming in 2007 in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology. The main source of project funding in 2006 was the Municipality of Puerto Deseado.
The merchant vessel Hoorn, associated with the Dutch expedition led by Jacob Le Maire and Willem C. Schouten, sank due to fire off the Deseado estuary (in what is now Santa Cruz Province, Argentina) in December 1615. In 2003, a project was initiated with the purpose of locating and studying the remains of the vessel. Under the direction of DamiÃ¡n Vainstub and Cristian Murray, from PROAS-Argentina, and Martijn Manders, from the De zoektocht naar de Hoorn Foundation in Holland, several archaeological surveys were conducted in the intertidal and adjacent subtidal zones with the aid of metal detectors. A sector with archaeological materials was identified in the intertidal zone, interpreted as a primary deposit related with the fire and destruction of the ship. Recovered materials include ceramic shards, metallic melted fragments, organic materials, concreted iron fittings, and what seem to be ballast stones.
Additionally, a geophysical survey of the seabed was conducted using side scan sonar and a magnetometer. The 2006 fieldwork consisted of the checking of these anomalies by divers. A few more artifacts were found, apparently displaced from the wreck site. The main source of funding for this project in 2006 was Mammoet (a Dutch maritime logistics company).
The Valdés Project began in 2004 with the goal of assessing, conducting non-intrusive surveys, and providing tourism management guidelines for the shipwrecks of a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Valdés Peninsula, as well as the adjacent coastal city of Puerto Madryn, both located in the province of Chubut. Around 30 shipwrecks are located within the study area, and 6 of them have had a preliminary survey and have been recorded mainly on the basis of their historical and/or tourist value. In 2006, the fieldwork conducted in the area was focused on two of these sites, both of them located in the intertidal zone of the city of Puerto Madryn.
One site consists of a section of a wooden hull, probably dating from the mid- 19th century. Site plans were done and wood and metal samples were taken in order to identify the wreck, prior to developing management guidelines for the site. The other site is an early-20th-century tug boat, and a preliminary survey of the shipwreck was done. The main source of funding for this project in 2006 was the Argentinean Volume 40: Number 3 Fall 2007 Page 67 National Ministry of Culture.
Monte León is a new National Park in Argentina, with 40 km of ocean coastline, located in Santa Cruz Province. In 2006, the PROAS team was required to conduct a baseline assessment of the maritime heritage of the park's coast as part of the general management plan of the park. Since one of the ships of Magellan-El Cano's voyage of 1519-1522, the nao Santiago, was wrecked against the rocky shore in an area of Patagonia, it is quite possible that it is located within what is now Monte León National Park.
The first field season was conducted in November, covering some 10 km of coastline. Although no evidence of the Santiago was found - and for several reasons it is unlikely that it will ever be found - several scattered shipwreck remains were located and documented. Wood and metal samples were also taken from all the sites and will be analyzed soon. A second and last field season in Monte Leon National Park will be conducted in early 2007. The main source of funding for this project in 2006 was the Argentinean National Parks Administration.
A joint project between Flinders University, Tokai University, and Texas A&M University to research the Manila Galleon San Francisco, with support from the Spain-U.S.A. Foundation, is underway. The main focus of this ongoing project is to locate this historically and archaeologically important shipwreck. The sinking of San Francisco had a significant impact on the relationship between Japan, Spain, and the New World. San Francisco may also be the only surviving Manila Galleon located in Japanese waters.
The Manila Galleon is a ship type known for making the first trans-Pacific voyages for commercial purposes. The discovery of San Francisco will shed new light on how the world was connected for the first time in history, and the detailed study of the material remains will greatly improve our understanding of how the crossing of the Pacific Ocean was made possible. Very few Manila Galleons have been located and none have been properly excavated according to professional/scientific standards.
Randall Sasaki from Texas A&M and Jun Kimura from Flinders University are working with Professor Yoshitaka Houzyou from the Department of Archaeology, Tokai University on this project. The search for a sunken vessel requires detailed planning and the setting up of logistics. Because the field of maritime archaeology is a relatively new field in Japan, the establishment of relationships between historians, archaeologists, and local officials is necessary before a major operation can take place. Korea International Symposium Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Discovery of the Shinan Shipwreck in Korea: From 17-19 November 2006, approximately 30 scholars including underwater and maritime archaeologists, historians, and ceramics researchers presented cutting-edge studies of artifacts recovered from the Shinan shipwreck and of the Asian maritime trade of the 14th century at the National Maritime Museum of Korea in Mokpo, Korea. The discovery of the Shinan Shipwreck in 1976 greatly stimulated the growth of underwater archaeology in Korea, and after 30 years of research on this site Korean researchers felt it was time for an international discussion of the site and their work on it. During this symposium, entitled "Shinan Underwater Relics and fourteenth century Asian Marine Trades," researchers from 10 countries focused on the study of ceramics recovered from the Shinan Shipwreck and on historical, economic, and social aspects of the 14th-century Asian maritime world, as well as on the current state of underwater archaeology in Asia.
The National Maritime Museum in Mokpo has been a center for analyzing the hull construction of the Shinan Shipwreck and associated cargoes to date. It was thus quite appropriate that the museum should serve as the venue and play an important role as the host organization for the symposium. ICOMOS Korea and the Institute of Island Culture of Mokpo University were also involved as co-organizers of this national event. On 17-18 November, the following five sessions were held: Historical Value of the Shinan Underwater Excavation; The History and Culture of the Asian Maritime Silk Road; Asian Overseas Trades and Trade Items; The Production and Distribution of Ceramics Found in the Shinan Underwater Site; and The Present and Future of the Asian Underwater Archaeology. More than 250 Korean scholars and students took part in the symposium, as well as researchers from China, France, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, the UK, and the U.S. Moreover, interpreters provided Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and English translations of talks to audiences simultaneously, greatly facilitating communication between conference participants. The symposium was a good opportunity to underscore the historical and archaeological significance of the Shinan Shipwreck for the study of the distribution of goods via the East Asian maritime trade and the development of material culture in countries of the region during the Middle Ages. The study of the Shinan Shipwreck relates not only to the history of Korea, but also to the histories of China and Japan as well.
Based on the archaeological evidence, the Shinan Shipwreck has been identified as a merchant vessel that went back and forth between China and Japan. It was wrecked offshore Bangchuk-ri, Jeungdo-myoun of Shinan-gun Jeonnam in Korea in approximately the early 14th century: the reason why the vessel was sailing off the Korean coast is still disputed among researchers. The shipwreck has been identified as a type Delegates to the Shinan Shipwreck symposium in Mokpo, Korea. Volume 40: Number 3 Fall 2007 Page 68 of Chinese junk, as it has a junk's characteristic V-shape cross sections, a bar keel on the bottom of hull, and bulkheads. The portion of the hull displayed at the museum is 28.4 m long, 6.6 m wide, 3.4-3.8 m in height, and weighs approximately 160 tons. Knowledge of the details of Chinese junks dating to the Middle Ages is far from being complete, and the discovery of Shinan Shipwreck may shed some light on this matter.
Papers presented at the symposium generally addressed three main themes. First, an appreciation of the maritime trade in the 14th century grew out of discussions focusing on the environmental aspects of East Asian waters and the social dynamism at work in East Asian countries. At the time of the Shinan wreck, the Eurasian continent was under the influence of the Yuan Dynasty. One discussion dealt with the issue of how to trace this influence on maritime activity of the time. Trade on the Asian seas, spurred on by technical advances in seafaring and shipbuilding, became more and more lucrative from the Nan Song to the Ming Dynasties. However, there were considerable changes in the political systems over the course of the Nan Song, the Yuan, and the Ming Dynasties. On the one hand, the voyage by Zheng He, an admiral of the early Ming Dynasty, is said to illustrate the prosperity of seafaring throughout Chinese history. On the other hand, the Ming Dynasty prohibited private maritime trade. This point was especially important when comparing the Yuan Dynasty with the Ming Dynasty in terms of maritime trade. Researchers pointed out that the development of maritime trade owed much to private merchants in the Yuan Dynasty whereas the state was much more of a force in this regard during the Ming Dynasty. The cargo of the Shinan Shipwreck would seem to indicate an active trade between China and Japan.
The second theme centered on the study of the ceramics recovered from the shipwreck through comparative studies with those types that have been identified in other Asian countries. The contents of the cargo of the Shinan Shipwreck were quite diverse and include Chinese, Korean, and Japanese ceramics, coins, metal objects, timbers, and spices. In particular, the approximately 12,000 pieces of Longquan celadon and 5,200 pieces of white porcelain from the Jindedezhen kiln of Jiangxi is currently regarded as the most extensive such assemblage in the world. During the symposium the value of recovered ceramics was emphasized not only in terms of understanding the chronology of existing data but also in terms of appreciating the cultural meaning implicit in the overseas ceramic trade. This point was made in studies that combined the examination of supply of and demand for ceramics in China, Japan, and Korea with the analysis of kiln and consumption sites.
Finally, recent developments in statesponsored underwater archaeology in China, Japan, and Korea were reported by representatives of these countries, and the results of underwater survey in Brunei in collaboration with French maritime archaeologists were presented. Since the 1970s awareness of underwater and maritime archaeology has increased in the East Asian countries. In response to rising concerns about the protection of underwater heritage, China has, for example, begun to establish a national underwater heritage program. As a result, at present state agencies and the department of the National Museum are in charge of the administration of underwater sites.
Participants were invited to visit the Shinan wreck on the last day of the symposium. The sea in the area, however, was muddy and the current was more than six knots. A substantial number of shipwrecks are said to remain in the vicinity. A new survey vessel that has been recently constructed for the National Maritime Museum and Korean underwater and maritime archaeologists will no doubt contribute to the identification of additional shipwrecks.
The symposium offered a great deal to its participants. The work of researchers in Asian countries has not been well known to Western scholars, largely as a result of language difficulties. This symposium did Reconstructed hull of the Shinan shipwreck. New research vessel of the Korean National Maritime Museum. Volume 40: Number 3 Fall 2007 Page 69 much to bring recent work of Asian scholars to the attention of a wider audience.
Five more nations adopted the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. On 1 December 2006, Ecuador deposited with the Director- General its instrument of ratification. Three weeks later, on 27 December 2006, Ukraine deposited its instrument of ratification. In January and February 2007, Lebanon and then St. Lucia ratified the convention, followed by Romania in August 2007. In accordance with the terms of its Article 27, the convention will enter into force 3 months after 20 instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession have been deposited. To date, 15 instruments, including that of Romania, have been deposited.
9-12 October 2007. Eighth Maritime Heritage Conference. The conference sessions will be held jointly at the Maritime Museum of San Diego and the USS Midway/San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum, San Diego, CA. More than 500 attendees are expected. The conference will open on Tuesday 9 October with a welcome reception to be held on the Star of India, flagship of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Program sessions will continue through Friday 12 October. A total of 76 conference sessions are planned. Most sessions will run for 75 minutes. These will cover the entire range of maritime and naval heritage topics. Sessions will be held concurrently on the USS Midway, the Star of India, and the Berkeley. The conference will conclude with a dinner cruise on San Diego Bay on the evening of Friday October 12. A formal call for papers will be issued in the fall of 2006. For more information please contact Conference Chair Raymond Ashley at 619-234-9153 ext. 104, firstname.lastname@example.org.
7-11 May 2008. North American Society for Oceanic History, First Call for Papers. The annual NASOH conference with the Council of American Maritime Museums conference will be hosted by the University of West Florida in historic Pensacola, FL in May 2008. The conference theme is: "Defining the Maritime Edge: The History and Archaeology on Inland Environments, Coastal Encounters, and Blue Water Connections." The Conference Program Committee invites proposals for papers and sessions exploring all aspects of history and archaeology related to saltwater or navigable freshwater environments. Suggested areas of research include, but are not restricted to, archaeology and anthropology, arts and sciences, history, or museum exhibitions. Proposals that identify the unique characteristics and influence of coastal and inland waters and explore their interfaces with the larger continental or oceanic worlds are especially encouraged. Please note that all participants must register for the conference. Specific questions may be directed to Program Committee Co-Chair, Bill Thiesen at