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17th Century Sunken Ship Discovered in the Chesapeake Bay

An archaeologist from Hagerstown has uncovered the remains of a 17th century sunken ship in the Chesapeake Bay.
CHESAPEAKE, MD - Almost 20 years ago, the discovery of a sunken 17th century ship was declared as nothing more than a hypothesis.

While researchers mapped out the area in which a ship might be located under the waters of Saint Mary's River, nothing was confirmed, until now.

"What we discovered this year was the remains of a seventeenth century English ship bringing cargo of ceramics, wool, and tobacco pipes," said archaeologist Scott Tucker, of Hagerstown.

After a crew of scuba divers participated in the underwater excavation lead by Tucker, that hypothesis became a reality. And to the excitement of many, their finding became the earliest English ship ever discovered in the Chesapeake.

"We are very excited because we've wondered about it since it was initially discovered. But had no way of proving it now we are able to demonstrate we have a seventeenth century vessel and that is really exciting," said Maryland Heritage Scholar Henry Miller.

Although thousands of ships were involved with the tobacco trade during the Colonial era, Tucker said it is the first tobacco ship ever found in the Chesapeake.

"This is what made the economies of Maryland Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania. These are the ships that carried the economy and people back and forth across the Atlantic," said Tucker.

A vessel into history.

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