Excavation Update

EXCAVATION UPDATE April 19, 2001 Archaeologists have now removed less than 10% of the remains of the crewmembers of the H. L. Hunley. “There are 206 bones per body, and 9 men, so we have a long way to go,” said Dr. Robert Neyland, Project Director. Only partial remains have been located, the most recent were two skulls. So far eight of the nine-member crew have been located in the submarine. Lt. George Dixon the H. L. Hunley’s commander has not been located, and scientists don’t think they will reach his remains for another 30 days. Another recent find is what appears to be a leather wallet. Archaeologists x-rayed the artifact, but didn’t see anything in it, like money. “As the recovery of the skull gives us the opportunity to put a face to the person, the personal effects, like a wallet gives us the tools to put a personality to the human image,” said Senator Glenn McConnell, Chairman of the Hunley Commission. The archaeologists up to this point have been puzzled by not finding the control rods for the rudder. The rods were thought by earlier historical drawings to run along the ceiling of the submarine, but this week archaeologists noted what appear to be two rods underneath the bench. Much more excavation will have to be done before they can confirm that these are the control rods of the rudder. “If these are truly the control rods, then this is another example of the technological advancement and ingenuity that continues to surprise everyone associated with the project,” said Warren Lasch, Chairman of Friends of the Hunley. The Hunley project has been made possible in part though the generous support of the National Geographic Society.

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