Tuesday, July 25, 2006

 

Archeologists identify second 18th-century ship wrecked off northwest France

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Yahoo News
July 25, 2006



Michel L'Hour (R), co-director of the marine archeology project at Natiere, helps retireve an anchor from one of two early 18th century frigates discovered near Saint Malo, France. After several false starts, the researchers determined last month that the wreck known as "Natiere 1" was the royal frigate La Dauphine, which sank in December 1704, L'Hour told a news conference.(AFP/Andre Durand)


SAINT MALO, France - The wreck of a second ship from the early 18th century has been identified by underwater archeologists working off the Brittany coast in northwest France, officials said.

After several false starts, the researchers determined last month that the wreck known as "Natiere 1" was the royal frigate La Dauphine, which sank in December 1704, Michel L'Hour, co-director of the project, told a news conference.

The identity of "Natiere 2" was established in 2002. It was the frigate Aimable Grenot, which went down in 1749.

Both were found at a major archeological site at Natiere, near the medieval walled city of Saint Malo, L'Hour said.

Work at the underwater dig began in 1999.

L'Hour's colleague Elisabeth Veyrat said the two ships had abundant "collections of all kinds."

The site is a boon for archeologists because it is only between seven and 18 meters (25 to 60 feet) deep, depending on the tides. In addition, the wrecks were protected by layers of sediment deposited by the Rance River.

"The wrecks were found as they were when they were abandoned," L'Hour said.

Work on the site is set to continue into 2007.


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