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Bricks as Ballast: An Archaeological Analysis of a Shipwreck in Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica

Author(s): Jeremy Borrelli ; B. Lynn Harris ; Melissa Price

Year: 2016

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Summary

Ships wrecked in Caribbean waters seldom preserve their structural integrity. Often only ferrous artifacts and ballast remain as the cultural indicators. The ballast of a wreck, if carefully documented, may have significant interpretive value to the site. An East Carolina University team investigated a wreck site in Costa Rica consisting of yellow brick stacked in a concentrated, organized pile.  This paper examines the function of brick as both ballast and cargo in the historical record of the Afro-Caribbean region. It argues that detailed documentation of ballast patterns may have potential to yield important data about loading, stacking, stowing and other logistical considerations. It will explore the Brick Site as a case study within the context of other wrecks in the archaeological record that carried large quantities of bricks. As the site is a rich substrate for marine life in a Conservation Area, investigators contemplate the challenge of future intrusive testing.


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Cite this Record

Bricks as Ballast: An Archaeological Analysis of a Shipwreck in Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica. Jeremy Borrelli, B. Lynn Harris, Melissa Price. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434460)


Keywords

Temporal Keywords
Historical (1650-1800)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 658

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