Bricks as Ballast: An Archaeological Analysis of a Shipwreck in Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica
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.
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- Expedition Costa Rica: East Carolina University’s Summer 2015 Maritime Studies Field School in Cahuita and Puerto Viejo •
- Society for Historical Archaeology 2016
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)
min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;