Introduction: The Mardi Gras Shipwreck Project: The Story of an Early Nineteenth-Century Wooden-Hulled Sailing Ship
The story of the Mardi Gras Shipwreck is multifaceted and complex. From the vessel’s mysterious demise as it slipped beneath the waves of the Gulf of Mexico to its initial discovery and archaeologically controlled excavation, the Mardi Gras Shipwreck is a fascinating example of the types of submerged archaeological resources that exist in the Gulf of Mexico. The Mardi Gras Shipwreck Project, the subject of this thematic issue of Historical Archaeology, is an excellent example of how historical archaeology can promote the understanding of the early 19th-century maritime culture and history of the Gulf of Mexico. Prior to the work conducted at the Mardi Gras Shipwreck site, formal archaeological excavations of a deep-water shipwreck in North American waters had not occurred. Today, more than nine years after the conclusion of fieldwork, the analysis and interpretation of the shipwreck and its archaeological assemblage continues. The circumstances by which the 2007 archaeological...
Keywordsshipwreck 19th century Gulf of Mexico project research design
The issues raised in this article are based on the recollection and documentation of the events that led to the discovery, disturbance, and ultimately the settlement that made possible the excavation of the Mardi Gras Shipwreck site in 2007. The authors would like to thank Jack Irion and Dave Ball for ensuring the correct timeline of events and that nothing was omitted. Many thanks to the anonymous reviewer and the efforts and time dedicated to the review of this issue. Finally, the authors of this thematic issue would like to thank all the authors who participated in the original 2008 SHA symposium on the Mardi Gras Shipwreck, as well as the current authors in this volume: Jack Irion, Melanie Damour, Ben Ford, Dave Ball, Helen Dewolf, Della Scott-Ireton, Rick Allen, and Kim Faulk.
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