Another aerial view that is showing sand barges and the clamshell bucket crane that was used to fill the area between the bulkheads of the cofferdam.
As the pumps were draining out the last of the water from the cofferdam, the project staff took the first look at the remains of the Belle. Poking through the surface of the muddy sea floor are some areas that have concreted masses of artifacts. In this photo you can still see where the buoys and datum stakes that outlined the shape of the hull during the surveys and the construction of the cofferdam are.
Some crewmembers doing excavation work resting on scaffolding placed over the wreck. This helps to protect unexcavated areas from the weight of people and equipment . . .but it could be very uncomfortable.
This is an overview of the northeast area of the site, you can see that archeologists are shoveling, trowel ling and working with map equipment. The mud removed by the toweling is placed in buckets, which are hoisted by a crane to the deck of the support barge.
They are preparing to lift up a bucket load of mud collected from the site. A group of archeologists will wash it over a screen to capture any tiny artifacts that were not picked up by the archeologists doing the digging.
Archaeologists working on the now partially uncovered Belle. You can see that the sea has eroded away much of the hull.
photographs on this page are courtesy of the INA, Texas Historical Commission and Texas A&M