Sunday, March 17, 2013

Archaeological Round-up: Ships and Skeletons

Spring is almost upon us, and that means another season of archaeological work across the world. In London, excavations are already well under way. The massive Crossrail train project, accompanied by extensive archaeological work, recently uncovered a set of graves, possibly part of a fourteenth century emergency cemetery for victims of the Black Death. You can read more here.

London plague victim graves under excavation. AFP Photo/Handout/Crossrail, from here.

In New York state, similar surveys related to work on the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River prompted one local paper to speculate on the potential for underwater archaeological sites, including those of a number of known shipwrecks.

Meanwhile this month, in Maine, storms exposed another archaeological site of interest. The remains of a ship's hull, possibly a late-eighteenth- or early-nineteenth-century sloop or "pinky" schooner are currently visible near York. This particular ship apparently appears every few years after storms before being gradually covered again by sand and mud. Readers of this blog may remember that I've written about similar finds before. Between intentional and accidental discoveries, 2013 is shaping up to be an interesting year for archaeology.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer, Maine Sunday Telegram, from here.

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