July 9, 2008 – Wednesday – Archaeology Provides the Details History Has Forgotten

By Jason Burns

One portion of the 2008 project involves marine remote sensing utilizing a marine magnetometer and differential global positioning system (DGPS) to document ferrous metal on the seafloor. The presence of ferrous metal (iron) usually indicates a shipwreck site. Shipwrecks are covered in metal objects like fasteners, anchors, cannons, and rigging.

Robert Krieble (right) and Jason Burns (in the boat) preparing to check a target at Fort St George Cay.

Southeastern Archaeological Research, Inc. (SEARCH) has been contracted to conduct the marine remote sensing portions of the project. In contract archaeology we are used to working in different places all over the world, wherever the work takes us. So far, we have surveyed in 3 different spots on Northwest Reef, Sam Bay, and today off of Ft. George Cay. We have covered some ground here off of Providenciales for the 2008 project, to the tune of 120 line miles.

The Turks & Caicos National Museum is interested in documenting the remains of Ft. George and anything in the surrounding waters to help in the interpretation of the circa 1798 British fort. Over various years people have reported seeing five to six cannon in the water. The cannon would have been mounted on the walls of the fort, but over time, they have eroded into the shallow water. We documented seven cannon through remote sensing and diver identification today. So, archaeology is once again providing the details that history has forgotten.

We move back to Sam Bay tomorrow to look for a possible 18th century wreck, then on to East Caicos to continue the search for Trouvadore, more to come…

One of the seven cannons at Fort St George Cay.