The Monterrey Shipwreck: More Artifacts Recovered

ROV Hercules recovers a musket from the Monterrey Shipwreck.
ROV Hercules recovers a partial musket from the Monterrey Shipwreck.

National Geographic Grantee and Texas State University Research Faculty Frederick “Fritz” Hanselmann and a team of leading archaeologists are conducting an expedition to the Monterrey Shipwreck in order to carry out the deepest archaeological shipwreck excavation ever in North America. Follow along with Fritz’s updates from the field.

 By Fritz Hanselmann

Unfortunately, our satellite went down around 10:45pm July 22 and with OET personnel working around the clock it was back up at 6:45pm July 23.  I am just now able to update you from the Gulf of Mexico and we are lucky that we have had very few breakdowns with our technology that allows us to broadcast live and to keep everyone informed on the project’s progress.  While the satellite was down, we were able to actually finish documentation and test excavations on the Monterrey Shipwreck.  We also recovered a number of other exciting artifacts, including a largely intact spyglass or telescope, an ivory brush, the leather sole of a shoe, and three muskets of British origin, that were mass-produced and widely used in North America and throughout the regions surrounding the Gulf of Mexico.  We have recovered around 60 artifacts and have carried out extensive mapping and documentation efforts on the site, both before and after excavation.  Again, these artifacts bring to mind the struggles and successes of those who preceded us and as my very good friend and team member Jim Delgado says, “Archaeology at it’s best is about people, and in this wreck, we are confronted again by the evidence that history is about ordinary people like you and me, often caught up in circumstances beyond our control.”  It is our hope that we can bring their story to light.

Funding provided by foundations and individual donors through the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and the Office of Advancement at Texas State University, the Way Family Foundation, and the Harte Family Foundation. 

NEXT: Two More Shipwrecks!