Explore the Shipwreck
by Steve Hoyt
When the French explorer Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle's ship, La Belle, foundered during a storm off the coast of what is now Texas in 1686, she took a would-be colony's worth of goods to the seafloor with her. Here, follow in the footsteps of marine archeologists from the Texas Historical Commission, who painstakingly excavated the ship's every artifact, from tiny lead shot to a near-complete human skeleton. After more than 300 years underwater, all of the nearly one million recovered artifacts are undergoing conservation treatment at Texas A&M University's Conservation Research Lab.
Steven D. Hoyt is State Marine Archeologist with the Texas Historical Commission in Austin, Texas.
Drawing by David Johnson, courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission.