The hull of the Belle was one of the most important artifacts recovered (see Stories in the Timber). Approximately 30 percent of the hull remained after over 300 years of submersion. Over a period of several weeks, the Texas Historical Commission removed and recorded the position of every one of the hull's planks and timbers. After cleaning, conservation, and study, the hull will be reconstructed exactly as it was found on the bottom of Matagorda Bay.

Hull The hull as it looked after workers had removed all artifacts and prepared it for disassembly.

Photo: courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission.