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Picking up the Pieces: Interpretation and reconstruction of USS Westfield from fragmentary Archaeological evidence

Author(s): Justin A Parkoff

Year: 2015

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Summary

USS Westfield was the flagship of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron during the American Civil War. Originally a New York ferry, Westfield was purchased by the U.S. Navy in 1861 and converted into an armored gunboat. On January 1, 1863 Westfield was destroyed by her captain during the Battle of Galveston to avoid capture. In 2009, the remaining wreckage, consisting of a disarticulated artifact debris field, was recovered from the Texas City Channel in advance of a dredging project. The remaining artifacts offer abundant information about Westfield’s steam machinery and armor, as the hull itself was not preserved. This presentation will review these artifacts and demonstrate how even the most scant archaeological evidence can be an asset if properly documented and studied. Furthermore, the presentation will share the future plans for reconstructing the artifacts into an interpretative museum display that exhibits Westfield’s steam machinery and the vessel’s unique design.


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Cite this Record

Picking up the Pieces: Interpretation and reconstruction of USS Westfield from fragmentary Archaeological evidence. Justin A Parkoff. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433769)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 439

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America