Highbourne Cay Shipwreck Revisited: 2015 Field Season and Preliminary Assessment


Previous investigations on the Highbourne Shipwreck in 1986 revealed key construction features that were backfilled for preservation. In May, 2015, a team of archaeologists returned to assess the site, and to answer reflexive questions regarding the effectiveness of partial excavations and backfill techniques. This new examination includes a pre-disturbance photogrammetry model, and limited shovel testing along previously excavated areas. Preliminary results discussed within this paper indicate the site can be considered intact and well-preserved, although the environmental processes are posing a persistent and significant threat to the overall hull structure.  We argue for further active conservation in situ protective measures, and ultimately for excavation and conservation of this historically important shipwreck. Although Bahamian underwater cultural resources remain under threat, plans have been set in motion to build an infrastructure for artifact conservation and display.  This will allow Bahamian cultural heritage to remain within the country, and promote maritime cultural tourism.

Cite this Record

Highbourne Cay Shipwreck Revisited: 2015 Field Season and Preliminary Assessment. Nicholas C. Budsberg, Charles D Bendig, Samuel P Turner, Chuck T Meide. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434903)

Spatial Coverage

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

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 489