The Mica shipwreck: deepwater nautical archaeology in the Gulf of Mexico



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Texas A&M University


The purpose of this study was to describe the investigation of the Mica shipwreck. The objectives of the investigation, as identified by nautical archaeologists from the United States Minerals Management Service and the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University, include determining the extent and limits of the wreck site, acquisition of diagnostic artifacts to identify the temporal period of the shipwreck and its mission at the time of loss, to identify the type of ship and its country of origin, and quantify the relationship between the vessel's construction and function. The manuscript contains a thorough analysis of the equipment and approach used by archaeologists during the excavation. The manuscript also briefly explores the use of metallic ship sheathing during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, focusing specifically on the pure copper sheathing found on the Mica wreck. Sheathing from numerous contemporary vessels will be analyzed and compared to the Mica shipwreck sheathing.