Michael Cameron Krivor
ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION OF AN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY BRITISH MERCHANT VESSEL, CHUB HEADS CUT, BERMUDA.
(Under the direction of Professor Gordon P. Watts, Jr.) Department of History, April 1998.
The purpose of this thesis is to document the remains of a shipwreck lost on the reefs of Bermuda. Located by graduate students from East Carolina University's Program in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology in 1992 off Chub Heads Cut, Bermuda, the site appeared to retain a significant amount of hull remains for analysis and study. The Bermuda Maritime Museum applied for and received a permit for the detail of merchant vessel fabrication. Evidence generated by the excavation and assorted artifact from the Receiver of Wreck to conduct a partial excavation of the site in 1993. The artifact assemblage documented during the investigation helped date the site to the mid-to late-eighteenth century. Little information exists concerning the construction of eighteenth century merchant vessels and the archaeological investigation of the site would lend valuable insight into assemblage suggests that the hull remains were a British-operated vessel which likely foundered during the mid-to-late-eighteenth century. Both the hull construction and artifacts suggest that the site may be the remains of a British merchant vessel used as a transport during the American War for Independence. More precisely, the site may represent the remains of a collier, a full-bodied vessel type used extensively during the War for Independence as a transport. This can be inferred by the construction of the hull as well as the artifact assemblage. The hull construction is similar to Site 44Y088, a British collier scuttled in 1781 in Yorktown, Virginia. Although the identity of Chub Heads Cut site remains in question, the site is an important vestige of the maritime traditions of Bermuda, Great Britain, and the United States, in addition to being associated with the events of the American Revolution. Because the hull remains embody the distinctive characteristics of an important vessel type a more intensive examination of the hull remains would undoubtedly contribute to a comprehensive understanding of that maritime heritage.