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Steamboat Wreck Excavations - Past and Present

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Old 05-27-2015, 05:30 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 57
Default Steamboat Wreck Excavations - Past and Present

Several years ago, I read the book "Treasure in a Cornfield" by Greg Hawley documenting his archaeological excavation and conservation of the Steamer Arabia. Just earlier this afternoon, I finished reading "The Steamboat Bertrand," by Jerome Petsche about the NPS uncovering of the Bertrand in Nebraska.

The procedures taken to unearth and preserve these boats are astounding, and the excavations themselves seem to become quite expensive and delicate. Surely, one might think that these types of excavations are simply too expensive and cumbersome to undertake, and the Arabia and Bertrand are some of the only examples (excluding the gunboat Cairo.).


Ever heard of the packet boat Twilight excavation? Or the 1830's era steamer Heroine found in the Red River?

Does anyone know of any more major or minor archaeological projects involving other western river steamers? Any efforts underway to conduct another such project?

Here is a link to the pages dedicated to the Twilight's uncovering. The old boat seems more intact than the Arabia. The Steamboat Twilight Excavation

W.R. Dancey
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