A small wooden cask held together by wooden hoops lay near the skeleton in the bow. This container, probably a wine cask, is one of numerous casks and barrels of various sizes that the Belle's travelers used to pack goods for the sea crossing. Casks held water, wine, gunpowder, axe heads, lead shot, and other materials. The casks themselves are valuable artifacts, which can tell researchers a great deal about how and where they were made, the materials they were made from, and the technology in use at the time. Such studies are now underway.

Cask of axe heads A newly excavated wooden cask full of axe heads.

Photos: courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission.