Chris Horrell, MMS, and Dave Ball, MMS.
As the Mardi Gras Shipwreck team prepared for the backfilling of the site to begin, a few final artifacts were recovered. These artifacts included two pewter spoons and two buttons. In addition, a brass butt plate from one of the muskets was also recovered. All of these artifacts had maker’s marks or hallmarks on them providing clues as to the age of the ship. These hallmarks will be researched once the team comes back from the field and the conservation process begins.
The long process of backfilling the site also began today as the project started to wind down. Backfilling an archaeological site is important as it provides protection for areas that were exposed during excavation. These exposed areas would normally decay if left open to the natural environment so it is important that we cover up these areas. Since this fieldwork effort focused primarily on recovering diagnostic artifacts that could provide answers to the vessel’s age and nationality, there is still important information on the construction of the ship’s hull that can be obtained through future field investigations. Once backfilling is complete, our vessel, Toisa Vigilant, will begin the long journey back to Port Fourchon, Louisiana.