American Revolution-Era Shipwreck Discovered Off of NC Coast

posted: 07/20/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
NC shipwreck artifacts

Scientists studying deep-sea methane seeps off of the North Carolina coast recently encountered an exciting diversion: a shipwreck believed to date back to the American Revolution.

Researchers discovered the shipwreck using an autonomous underwater vehicle and a manned submersible. Nestled nearly a mile beneath the surface of the ocean, the site is littered with artifacts, including bottles, pottery, navigational instruments and an iron chain.

"I have led four previous expeditions to this site, each aided by submersible research technology to explore the sea floor -- including a 2012 expedition where we used Sentry to saturate adjacent areas with sonar and photo images," explains Duke University researcher Cindy Van Dover, a member of the expedition that discovered the wreck. "It's ironic to think we were exploring within 100 meters of the wreck site without an inkling it was there."

NOAA's Marine Heritage Program will now launch a formal investigation aimed at dating the site more precisely.

"Lying more than a mile down in near-freezing temperatures, the site is undisturbed and well preserved," remarked Marine Heritage Program chief archaeologist Bruce Terrell. "Careful archaeological study in the future could definitely tell us more."

Click here for more information from Duke University

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