From The Washington Post
Researchers are returning to the Alabama coast near Mobile, Alabama, to assess the sunken remains of the last slave ship to bring captive Africans to the United States more than 160 years ago.
The Alabama Historical Commission says a team is scheduled to begin a 10-day evaluation of the remnants of the Clotilda on Monday. Experts have described the wreck as the most complete slave ship ever discovered.
The agency has hired Resolve Marine, a salvage and services company, for work involving the Clotilda. The ship was scuttled in the muddy Mobile River after illegally dropping off 110 West Africans on the Alabama coast in 1860, decades after Congress outlawed the international slave trade.
The company plans to moor a 100-foot-long barge at the site with equipment to support divers and store artifacts that are removed from the water for analysis and documentation.
“It is a tremendous duty to ensure the Clotilda is evaluated and preserved,” Aaron Jozsef, the project manager for Resolve Marine, said in a statement.
Some have advocated for removing the wreckage from the water and placing it on display in a new museum that’s being discussed, and officials have said the work will help determine whether such a project is possible.