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 compartment.


Used with permission of The Post and Courier and Charleston.Net

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