Rivers yield shipwrecks, treasures - Underwater finds revealed at museum

By Reggie Ponder - DailyAdvance

Plenty of proof of the Albemarle’s role as “Cradle of the Colony” lies out of sight in the depths of the Pasquotank River.

“Don’t forget — there’s things underwater,” Mark Wilde-Ramsing of the N.C. Office of State Archaeology said Saturday in one of six presentations by archaeologists at the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City.

Those “things underwater” include remnants of Civil War gunboats, commercial steamers and barges, and even Native American dugout canoes.

Remains of the CSS Black Warrior, a 92-foot-long Confederate schooner, were found recently in the Pasquotank River. A gun carriage from the boat will be returned to the museum once the state conservation lab completes preservation work on the artifact.

Confederate shipwrecks in the Pasquotank River, and Native American artifacts from Currituck County were among the topics of discussion as the state’s top archaeologists converged on the museum this weekend for the 75th Annual Spring Meeting of the N.C. Archaeological Society. About 75 people were registered for the event.

Wilde-Ramsing spoke on “Underwater Archaeological Explorations and Discoveries in Waters of Northeastern North Carolina.”

It was the first time the society had gathered this far east, according to Clay Swindell, a society member who lives in Elizabeth City and is an archaeologist with the Virginia-based James River Institute for Archaeology. He also works part-time at the museum.

Another Civil War-era boat found in the Pasquotank River, the Scuppernong, was built in Elizabeth City, according to Wilde-Ramsing.

Civil War

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