Excavation 2018

by Iain Grant

Day 1 – 9th August 2018

The weather was good, the sea was clean and we had divers.  It was another attempt at excavating Hazardous.  Pumping worked well and we excavated down through large stones, sand and gravel to smaller gravel and sand to smooth grey clay.

5 artefacts were retrieved:

  • HZA007-18 – sole of shoe with intact, laminated heel
  • HZA008-18 – partial base of turned wooden bowl / plate with crude carving on underside
  • HZA009-18 – wooden jack plane with offset rear handle (no wedge, no plane iron)
  • HZA010-18 – fragment of pewter or lead
  • HZA011-18 – large wooden wedge

In addition, several thin, flat wooden elements were uncovered from the gap between the frames. These were not recovered but were removed from the excavated area..

Excavation was cut slightly short by a problem with the pump hose but we felt we had put in a good day.

Day 2  – 11th August 2018

All to often in the past we have been unable to complete the plan – and this attempt was no different!

The day started with a flat sea at a balmy temperature of 22 degrees but under it was dark with visibility at around 30 cm!  The spring tide created a very strong pull on pump hose and dredge making operation extremely difficult.  Excavation was aborted after about three diver hours due to the conditions.

No artefacts recovered

Day 3 – 14th August 2018

Better day with a flat sea at launch of the rib at Bracklesham.   Water still a balmy 21 degrees with visibility around 1.5 m.

With 6 divers on board, we managed to get over 7 diver hours in the water with 4 of those spent dredging.

Artefacts found:

  • HZA012-18 = Musket ball.
  • HZA013-18 = Musket ball.
  • HZA014-18 = Queen Anne cloth bale seal.
  • HZA015-18 = Shoe sole and heel (damaged).
  • HZA016-18 = Musket ball.
  • HZA017-18 = Butchered bone.
  • HZA018-18 = Lead fragment.
  • HZA019-18 = Bottom of onion bottle.
  • HZA020-18 = Two musket balls.
  • HZA021-18 = One lead canister shot.
  • HZA022-18 = Fragment of onion bottle glass.
  • HZA023-18 = Shoe buckle centre.
  • HZA024-18 = Shoe buckle pin.

Sea state started to degrade as the day went on, with wind coming up with tide.

At 4 pm we headed for the beach to find a nasty broken surf running up the shingle, dropped of two divers and dinghy in the surf then headed to Itchenor to recover the rib.


All images by Dave Johnston