Marine archaeologists visiting a known shipwreck site in the Gulf of Mexico were surprised to discover two more ships nearby, at rest at a depth of 4,363 feet below the surface. Researchers from the Texas State University in San Marcos’ Meadows Center for Water and the Environment explain they simply don’t know what the source of the new shipwreck site, only guessing that it is an early 19th wreck, possibly of privateer vessels.
The new wrecks claim the prize of being “the deepest Gulf or North American shipwrecks to have been systematically investigated by archaeologists,” although those investigations are only just beginning. The archaeologists have used remote viewing machines to review the sites, but are not yet permitted to remove any artifacts from them. They did, however, remove 60 artifacts from the initial shipwreck site, dubbed the “Monterrey Shipwreck.” These artifacts included “musket parts, ceramic cups and dishes, liquor bottles, clothing and even a toothbrush.”
Of the history, the Huffington Post explains —
Delgado said the ships likely went down during the first two decades of the 1800s, which was a time of great upheaval in the Gulf region and in the New World, in general.
“Empires were falling, Spain was losing its grip, France was selling what it has, Mexico becomes independent, Texas independent, Latin America becomes independent and the U.S. is beginning to make a foothold in the Gulf,” he said. “So these wrecks are all tied to that, we are sure.”
It’s likely each ship was carrying 50 to 60 men and that none of them survived. Among the wreckage were telescopes and other navigational tools that survivors likely wouldn’t have left behind if they could have helped it, the researchers said.
Delgado said the ship the team set out to examine was armed with six cannons and may have had two masts. Undersea images show the outline of a copper-clad, 84-foot-long by 26-foot-wide wooden hull.
Read the full article and check out the very cool slideshow at: Gulf Shipwreck Archaeologists Find Two More Sunken Vessels On Deep Ocean Floor