Our Fall Thirty-One Days of Time Team continues with a mystery shipwreck. Tony Robinson tells the story of a teenage boy who discovered a cannon in the water. Since then, the teen has grown up and organized a dig of the ship. Time Team has been brought in to assist with the dig. What was the mystery wreck? Was it part of the Spanish Armada? Will there be enough of the ship remaining for the Time Team to explore?
This is the first time that the Time Team will participate in water archelogy and there will be plenty to learn. Will water archeology be different from land archaeology? The answer is no. Many of the same principles apply from land archeology apply to water archeology. The number one thing that is very much the same between both forms of archelogy is that it will take time. Another time factor for the team is the arrival of the site director from Libya.
The teen who discovered the site twenty years ago speaks with Tony Robinson about the find. The teen had grown up and works on the site. Simon Burton was swimming off the coast when he saw the cannon. He learned that the cannon was made of bronze and continued to dive the site. The site was eventually declared protected and licensed. So, they have a site director now and he guides the work on the site. The Time Team cannot dive into the site until the site director comes back from Libya.
There were another five guns and other items found at the site. Robin Bush and Mick Aston head to the town museum to see if this ship was part of the Spanish Armada. A copper pot, firepot, a merchant seal, and other cannons were found. Robin looks at the coat of arms on the cannon and Mick suggests that they look into the background of the cannon. The identity of the wreck could be tied to the coat of arms on the cannon.
Robin and Mick talk about the certainty of the Armada connection. There was nothing in the local folklore about the cannon. Robin and Mick lean towards the ship being a trading vessel. So, is the ship a merchant galley or a warship?
Stewart Ainsworth looks at the landscape to see if there was a nearby port. The French had raided the town burning it to the ground. However, according to folk legend, buildings may have survived.
The survey results are in and those results are not good. Nothing shows up in the results. They were expecting to find pieces of timber in the sand. The results are disappointing for the Time Team and Simon Burton. Perhaps the timbers were waterlogged, and thus would not show up in the results? The results would have helped them put in the trenches.
Day two begins at the breakfast table. The Time Team goes out to the wreck site and Tony dives on the wreck. However, since there were some storms last year, the site director and Simon dive on the site to make sure their markers are still there. After some sorting and repositioning their markers, Tony goes diving. While Tony dives, Mick learns how to shoot a cannon.
After the markers are positioned and Tony comes up to the surface, the sand sucking starts. While that is happening, Stewart Ainsworth goes over the landscape results. At midday, Mick fires the cannon. In the afternoon, beginner diver Phil Harding takes his turn on the wreck. At the end of day two, there are no signs of the wreck. Will the Time Team find the wreck? Tune into this episode to find out.
This would be a good episode to show for a “Fun Friday.”
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