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18th century British warship found in Dry Tortugas National Park

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Archaeologists have identified the sunken remains of the HMS Tyger, an 18th century British warship that sunk in 1742.

The wreck site was first discovered in 1994 and then survey by researchers from the Dry Tortugas National Park, the Submerged Resources Centre, and the Southeast Archaeological Centre.

Launched in 1647 at Woolwich, England, the HMS Tyger was a Fourth-Rate frigate and the third ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name.

By successive refitting’s she served for almost a century, participating in the Siege of Colchester during the English Civil War, the pursuit of Prince Rupert to the West Indies, and the First and Second Anglo–Dutch Wars.

In 1741, the HMS Tyger was ordered to Cuba under the command of Captain Edward Herbert. Her orders were to blockade Spanish ships heading to Mexico, Havana, Cuba and Vera Cruz.

While sailing the route from Havana to Vera Cruz, the ship was grounded on a reef, forcing the crew to abandon ship and make camp on Garden Key. According to the ship’s logbooks, the crew attempted to refloat the vessel, but it eventually succumbed to damage from the grounding and sank in shallow water.

The crew were marooned for 66 days on Garden Key, but would eventually use makeshift vessels made from salvaged pieces of the HMS Tyger and make a 700-mile escape through enemy waters to Port Royal, Jamaica.

A survey in 2021 found five cannons approximately 457 metres from a wreck site located off the coast of Garden Key. Based on the size of the cannons and the wreck location matching historical sources, researchers from the National Park Service have now identified the wreck to be the HMS Tyger.

“Archaeological finds are exciting, but connecting those finds to the historical record helps us tell the stories of the people that came before us and the events they experienced,” said Park Manager James Crutchfield. “This particular story is one of perseverance and survival. National parks help to protect these untold stories as they come to light.”

The wreckage of HMS Tyger and its associated artefacts are under the jurisdiction of the British Government as per international treaty, signifying their sovereign ownership.

Header Image Credit : Brett Seymour

Sources : National Park Service (NPS)

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Study reveals new insights into life at “German Stonehenge”

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Excavations of the Ringheiligtum Pömmelte, nicknamed the “German Stonehenge”, has revealed new insights into domestic life from prehistory.

Ringheiligtum Pömmelte is a late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age henge from the late third millennium BC. The monument features seven concentric rings made of palisades, ditches, and raised banks, each containing a series of wooden posts.

The site was discovered in 1991 through aerial photography near the present-day village of Pömmelte in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.

From 2018 to 2022, archaeologists have excavated nearly 140 ancient dwellings dating from 2,800 BC to 2,200 BC. The older dwellings are linked to the Corded Ware and the Bell Beaker culture, while the more recent ones are associated with the Únětice Culture.

In a recent study conducted by the State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology (LDA) of Saxony-Anhalt, archaeologists are employing various scientific methods to offer new insights into the site’s ritual and settlement landscape.

The study has identified house locations of the Corded Ware culture (26th to 23rd century BC), and an associated settlement pit containing ceramic sherds, an axe head and flint blades. Until now, Corded Ware settlement could only be attributed to individual finds that had been relocated, and not to actual structures on the site.

Also associated with the Corded Ware culture is a storage area with 78 grain silo pits that held various types of gain, including wheat, barley, and spelt. Archaeologists already know that Corded Ware people lived on a balanced diet with animal products, further indicated by drinking vessels from burials at Ringheiligtum Pömmelte that contained traces of dairy products.

While the scientific analyses and the interpretation of the results with various specialists continue, excavations at Pömmelte will last until mid-July 2024.

Header Image Credit : Shutterstock

Sources : State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

3,400-year-old shipwreck found with cargo mostly intact

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Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority Marine Unit have discovered a 3,400-year-old shipwreck with the cargo mostly intact.

The site was first identified during an underwater survey by Energean, an energy company searching for natural gas deposits beneath the Mediterranean Sea Floor.

This led to the discovery of the shipwreck and its cargo at a depth of 1.8 kilometers, along with its cargo that consists of Late Bronze Age Canaanite storage vessels.

IAA archaeologists, in collaboration with Energean, have used the deep sea exploratory vessel, “Energean Star” to conduct a visual inspection of the wreck site. This has revealed hundreds of ceramic vessels on the seabed, and a muddy layer which likely conceals a second layer and the wooden beams of the ship.

Jacob Sharvit, Head of the Israel Antiquities Authority Marine Unit, explains, “The ship seems to have sunk in crisis, either due to a storm or to an attempted piracy attack – a well-known occurrence in the Late Bronze Age. This is both the first and the oldest ship found in the Eastern Mediterranean deep sea, ninety kilometres from the nearest shore.”

Image Credit : IAA

Only two other ships from this period have been found – the boat from Cape Gelidonya and the Uluburun boat; both found off the Turkish coast. Both ships were found near the shore, suggesting that shipping routes followed the coastline between ports. However, this new discovery changes the understanding of ancient marine trade, demonstrating that ancient shipping also extended into deep waters.

“The ship is preserved at such a great depth that time has frozen since the moment of disaster – its body and contexts have not been disturbed by human hand (divers, fishermen, etc.); nor affected by waves and currents which do impact shipwrecks in shallower waters,” added Sharvit.

Header Image Credit : IAA

Sources : Israel Antiquities Authority

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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