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Ever wonder what it would be like to be part of a diving team exploring a
historic shipwreck?  Find out starting September 11 when a team of
underwater archaeologists begins a Web-based chronicle of their
investigation into several shipwrecks in Door County, Wis.

In a collaborative project with the State Historical Society of Wisconsin,
the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, and East Carolina
University in Greenville, N.C., divers will post daily updates of their work
to the Web, according to Jeff Gray, Wisconsin state underwater
archaeologist.  Web users will be able to follow the divers' progress as
they document historic shipwrecks with photographs, videos, scale drawings,
and archaeological maps. 

"We'll be exploring the spectrum of Great Lakes wooden ship construction,"
Gray said, "from the complex, industrial side to the more simple and

The diving team will begin by studying the 300-foot wooden steamer the City
of Glasgow, one of the largest wooden boats in the world when it was
launched in 1891.  After being converted into a stone barge, the ship ran
aground in a storm in 1917 and could not be salvaged. 
The diving team will also document two scow-schooners located off Peninsula
State Park in Fish Creek.  Though less impressive in size than the mammoth
City of Glasgow, these simple craft were equally important in the Great
Lakes commerce a hundred years ago, Gray said.

"Besides illustrating the importance that these vessels played in
Wisconsin's development, we want the Web site to give people an idea of what
doing underwater archaeology is like," Gray said.

The site is called "Notes from the Field 2000: Underwater Archaeologists in
Action." It can be found at 

Results of the archaeological documentation will enhance understanding and
appreciation of the importance of waterborne transportation in the 19th
century, when the Great Lakes provided vital links between the bustling East
and the developing Midwest.  

The project will also help the State Historical Society of Wisconsin create
interpretive materials, such as historical markers, dive guides, and Web
sites, to tell the story of Great Lakes maritime history.  In addition, the
project will help preserve the wrecks themselves.  Reports from the work
will be used by the historical society to nominate the wrecks for the
National Register of Historical Places, which will give them federal
recognition and protection.  The field work, which will last about three
weeks, will also provide students with valuable experience by working
side-by-side, or "fin-by-fin," with professional archaeologists, Gray said.

For More Information Contact:

Jeff Gray
State Underwater Archaeologist
State Historical Society of Wisconsin
(608) 271-1382

John Karl
Science Writer
UW Sea Grant
(608) 263-8621

Since 1988, the State Historical Society of Wisconsin has surveyed, mapped,
and documented the underwater archeological resources of the state.  This
work will improve the management of historic shipwrecks and help develop
underwater preserve areas to protect these cultural and recreational
resources.  The State Underwater Archaeology Program is part of the SHSW's
Division of Historic Preservation, under the Office of the State

Conceived  in 1966, Sea Grant is a national network of 29 university-based
programs of research, outreach, and education dedicated to the protection
and sustainable use of the United States' coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes
resources.  The National Sea Grant Network is a partnership of participating
coastal states, private industry, and the National Sea Grant College
Program, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of

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