Excavation of crew compartment nearly halfway complete
Tuesday, March 13, 2001
Archaeologists excavating the Hunley are nearly halfway into the
Confederate submarine's crew compartment - but have yet to find any artifacts that reveal
the secrets of its operation.
Project manager Bob Neyland said that on Monday scientists took
out nearly 60 gallons of silt and sand. He said archaeologists are a little surprised they
have not yet found the hand crank the crew used to turn the submarine's propeller.
"It's kind of curious," Neyland said. "It may fool
us. It may be lower."
So far, the scientists have found only a few artifacts that may
be from the submarine's operations. Archaeologists have recovered a couple of items
covered in concretion that may or may not be something originally in the sub. Much of the
debris recovered from the sub so far appears to have drifted in after it sank.
Today, scientists will sieve some of the silt they have removed
from the sub to make sure they haven't missed any items. As scientists dig lower into the
sub's crew compartment, the muck they are recovering is more like clay than sand.
Scientists are not too surprised by their excavation so far. They
fully expect the majority of artifacts they may find will be at the bottom of the crew
Used with permission of The Post
and Courier and Charleston.Net