Archaeological News

            The latest news in archaeology.             

Posts tagged "civil war"

GREENVILLE — The remains of a ship that was commandeered in Charleston harbor by an enslaved black man during the Civil War and used as an escape vehicle may have been discovered off the South Carolina coast, according to a historian with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Officials are not releasing details, but NOAA plans to issue a report and unveil historical markers on May 12, the 152nd anniversary of the little-known episode.

They said they don’t want to announce the location because it’s in an environmentally sensitive area.

But “we can say we’re pretty sure we know where it is,” said Bruce Terrell, senior historian and archeologist for the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries’ Maritime Heritage Program and lead author of the report. Read more.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Racing against time, South Carolina archaeologists are digging to uncover the remnants of a Civil War-era prisoner-of-war camp before the site in downtown Columbia is cleared to make room for a mixed-use development.

The researchers have been given four months to excavate a small portion of the 165-acre grounds of the former South Carolina State Hospital to find the remnants of what was once known as “Camp Asylum.” Conditions at the camp, which held 1,500 Union Army officers during the winter of 1864-65, were so dire that soldiers dug and lived in holes in the ground, which provided shelter against the cold. Read more.

Born and built amid gray-cloaked secrecy during the American Civil War, the H.L. Hunley — the first submarine to sink an enemy ship — has held tight to its murky mysteries.

The 150th anniversary of the Hunley’s daring and dangerous raid will be marked this weekend and Monday, but the overarching question remains: What caused the submarine and its eight-member crew to slip to the bottom of the sea on the moonlit evening of February 17, 1864, after it signaled to shore a success that changed naval warfare.

The Hunley, housed at a laboratory in North Charleston, South Carolina, has yielded its secrets slowly and sparingly, even to researchers armed with the latest in technology. Read more.

Archaeologists exploring the site of a Civil War-era prison camp in Columbia have uncovered three pits they say Union soldiers dug as crude shelter against the winter of 1864-65.

One of the earthen pits on the grounds of the S.C. State Hospital held secret a half-dozen artifacts, too, left behind by a prisoner of war and then covered over by those who ran the prison known as Camp Asylum.

Four weeks into the exploration of the 3.5-acre site, the crew of seven archaeologists is working against the clock.

Money is tight. Bad weather has stolen four days. And they’ve been given just four months to work before the Bull Street property is redeveloped. Read more.

The Virginia museum that holds the famous turret of the sunken Civil War ironclad warship USS Monitor says it is closing the laboratory that houses the artifact because of a lack of federal funding.

The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News has been the congressionally designated repository for Monitor artifacts since 1987. It also houses, among other things, the legendary ship’s two giant guns, propeller and steam engine.

The private museum, which charges $12 admission, says it is taking the action because the federal government, which owns the artifacts, has failed to pay what the museum considers its proper share for their conservation.

The museum also says visitorship had fallen far short of projections related to the Monitor. Read more.

A 150-year-old Civil War ship and its contents is on its way to Texas City after being excavated from the bottom of the Houston Ship Channel and restored in a five-year project.

The USS Westfield, which sank in the Battle of Galveston in 1863, was brought to the surface in 2009 in what was the largest maritime archaeological rescue project ever undertaken in Texas.

Once up, archaeological conservators discovered hundreds of artifacts including belt buckles from the crew, boiler and engine parts as well as live ammunition.

The star of the find is a 12-foot-long cannon, which could have fired projectiles over a mile and a half. Read more.

U.S. Navy divers successfully recovered a 64-square foot section of the Savannah-built Civil War ironclad warship CSS Georgia from the bottom of the Savannah River Tuesday evening.

The removal and preservation of the historic ship is part of the mitigation involved in the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, which will deepen the Savannah River channel from its current 42 feet to 47 feet.

Tuesday’s recovery is part of an ongoing operation by the Navy, the Savannah District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and underwater archeological teams. Read more.

In just three years of field work, researchers have turned up more than 600 artifacts - from suspender buckles to railroad spikes - at the site of a Civil War prison camp in southeast Georgia that remained virtually undisturbed since it was abandoned in 1864.

And that’s only scratching the surface.

Students and faculty from Georgia Southern University have plans this summer to dig deeper at Camp Lawton, a sprawling prison where the Confederate army once held more than 10,000 captured Union troops. But first they’re using cellphone chargers and a veterinarian’s X-ray machine to help with the painstaking work of cleaning and preserving items already uncovered. Read more.