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The Obsidian Aucilla

Stained black by the surrounding swamps, the Aucilla River is an obsidian mirror; it reflects the overhanging forest while hiding a labyrinth of rocks, snags. In places it disappears, running underground – in others, it conceals deep sinkholes formed by collapsed limestone caverns. For decades, river divers have descended into these dark pits in search […]

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The History of the Goodship Warwick

In November 1619, a hurricane ripped across the island of Bermuda. In the King’s Anchorage, the English Galleon Warwick broke free of her moorings and was shattered on the reefs. Warwick was a key link in the lifeline that tied the fledgling colony of Jamestown to Bermuda and England. When she sank, that tie was severed. With no other […]

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Warwick 2011 Team

For the past two seasons, volunteers and archaeologists have been excavating and documenting a 17th century shipwreck, the Warwick, in Bermuda. The Warwick project is a National Museum of Bermuda (NMB) project in partnership with Texas A&M & Institute of Nautical Archaeology  and in association with The Global Exploration and Oceanographic Society (G-EOS) and Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton. […]

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We are updating the site!

Archaeologist Veronica Morriss will be joining Diving|Archaeology as a writer and photographer! We will be posting updates on our recent archaeological explorations in Vietnam. We had an incredible time and have thousands of pictures. In addition to photos from Vietnam, I will be moving though my backlog of Bermuda and Florida picks; Veronica has a […]

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The Light Fantastic

I took this picture in the early morning as Eddie and I drifted down the gentle Aucilla River. It was cool and the sun had just cleared the trees. Fog clung to the calm water as it slid along the banks and beneath the overhanging branches. Jessi and Ann came behind us on the small […]

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Questions from a 4th Grader

Last week a 4th Grader contacted me with some questions about shipwrecks. Actually, he contacted Dr. Crisman first, but I get to answer these sorts of things as 1.) I enjoy public outreach and 2.) I am not trying to finish a book while teaching two classes and serving as Assistant Dept. Chair. I thought […]

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Le Bateau Dammit

God knows how many holes the serene Aucilla punched into Eddie’s pontoon boat. It was a miracle we did not sink; I think we remained afloat only because of Eddie’s hard headed insistence on doing so. The pontoons of the aforementioned pontoon boat were steel veterans of the Second World War, though, if Eddie had […]

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Geoarchaeology and Drinking Straw Technology

Sinkholes are unreasonably complex phenomena – those in rivers doubly so. If you can figure out their geological history, you have a better chance of figuring out how artifacts got there. As far as I can tell, this is not a straight forward task. As time goes by, sinks are subject to slumping, flood deposits, […]

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Digging Square Holes Underwater

Digging square holes underwater (in low visibility) can get a little ridiculous – it is, however, achievable. To simplify the process, we used an excavation frame built by Jim Dunbar. The design is ingeniously simple. The frame is a two meter by three meter metal grid that can be raised or lowered on poles. Divers […]

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The Bottom of the Sink

We did not expect to be able to see anything in the river. Typically, the Aucilla is blackwater, stained by tannins leeching in from the swamp. In previous years, divers needed powerful lights to work even just 15 to 20 feet from the surface. This was not a typical year. The climate worked in our […]

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