RIMAP TO ANNOUNCE FIELDWORK PROGRESS IN THE SEARCH FOR THE LORD SANDWICH ex ENDEAVOUR
The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) will announce recent fieldwork progress in the Search for the Lord Sandwich ex Endeavour at 10 a.m., Thursday, September 29, at the Hyatt Hotel on Goat Island, Newport, RI.
RIMAP reported in May its intention to determine the exact number of shipwreck sites still to be found in the limited area of Newport Harbor where the Lord Sandwich ex Endeavour is now known to have been scuttled in 1778. RIMAP divers have spent 3 weeks in meticulous ground-truthing of selected remote sensing targets in what is now known as the LSexE (pronounced “El Sexy”) Study Area. A grant from the Australian National Maritime Museum helped to support this work, and two of the museum’s archaeological divers joined RIMAP professional archaeologists and volunteers in this work.
The September 29 event is free and open to the public, but there will be no early media interviews granted because the fieldwork is ongoing. The presentations will include:
· RIMAP’s description of the Newport Harbor fieldwork, an interpretation of the archaeological data collected, and a discussion of the next steps.
· Announcements of how the archaeological shipwreck sites are to be protected by the RI Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, by the Coastal Resources Management Council, and possibly by the NOAA Marine Sanctuaries program.
· What the discovery of the Lord Sandwich ex Endeavour might mean to Australia and the wider world, especially in Britain and around the Pacific Rim in the upcoming 250 anniversary remembrances of Cook’s voyage in the Endeavour.
· What the discovery of the Lord Sandwich ex Endeavour might mean to Rhode Island.
· The next steps for RIMAP’s archaeological research.
RIMAP and ANMM staff and volunteers will be available for questions and interviews.
The next phase of the archaeological investigation will require a more intense study of each existing vessel’s structure and its related artifacts. However, before that next phase may begin, there must be a proper facility established to conserve, manage, display, and store the waterlogged material removed from these archaeological sites. Because the transport fleet the included the Lord Sandwichex Endeavour that was scuttled in Newport Harbor in 1778 (in the days leading up to the August 1778 Battle of Rhode Island in Portsmouth, Rhode Island), RIMAP plans to have its central facility at Butts Hill Fort, the center of the American line during that Battle.
The September 29 event is free and open to the public.
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