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Bed Load: An Archaeological Investigation of the Sediment Matrix at the H.L. Hunley Site

Author(s): Heather Brown

Year: 2016

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Summary

The study of site formation processes is an important part of understanding and reconstructing the sequence of events relating to a shipwreck. On 17 February 1864, the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley sank, after detonating a torpedo below Union blockader USS Housatonic. It came to rest approximately four nautical miles off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, in less than 10 m of water and was subsequently buried beneath roughly 1 m of sediment. By mapping the distribution of artifacts and anthropogenic material around the site, including coal, slag, and tin cans, one can begin to see the dominant hydrodynamic forces that affected Hunley after its loss. By comparing this evidence with studies of scour and its effects on shipwrecks and underwater mines, a clearer picture emerges of the processes the led to Hunley's encapsulation in the substrate.


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Cite this Record

Bed Load: An Archaeological Investigation of the Sediment Matrix at the H.L. Hunley Site. Heather Brown. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434314)


Keywords

Temporal Keywords
Civil War


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 878

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