Maritime Lecture Series Tackles Beached Shipwreck Documentation

The Michigan Maritime Museum’s Maritime Lecture Series continues with State of Michigan Maritime Archaeologist Wayne Lusardi on January 22nd from 6:30 pm-7:30 pm and his presentation “The Robert’s Cove Wreck: Combining Archaeological and Historic Research to Identify a Shipwreck.” Museum Director of Education Ashley Deming says, “With high-water levels and storm activity the Michigan coastline has endured, we’ve gotten many calls about historic shipwreck material on the beaches and what people should do about it. Lusardi’s expertise will discuss what people can do when they find material on the beach and how best to share that with experts.” Shipwrecks, particularly those in near shore, shallow water environments, are often fragmented to a point where identification is challenging, if not impossible. Extensive information about a shipwreck can be collected archaeologically, though a complete historic record of the vessel cannot be made until the site is positively identified. The Robert's Cove wreck in Lake Huron is a case study in the process of using archaeology and historic research to identify a shipwreck, thus combining two bodies of data to give a more complete account of a previously unknown shipwreck. There are some basic things anyone can do to record these sites to help with documentation and identification.

Wayne Lusardi is Michigan’s State Maritime Archaeologist. He has been at Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary since 2002. Lusardi researches and documents the nearly 1500 shipwrecks located in the state. He is involved in all aspects of fieldwork, survey, research, education and outreach. Lusardi has an extensive background in underwater and terrestrial archaeology, artifact conservation, and material culture studies. He was previously employed as an archaeological conservator for the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia and excavated the SS Monitor’s turret after its recovery in 2002. He also spent four years on the Blackbeard shipwreck project in North Carolina. He received his MA degree in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology from East Carolina University in 1998, and a BS in Anthropology from Illinois State University.

Admission is $8, $7 for seniors. There is no admission fee for Museum members. Museum doors will at 6:00 pm the evening of the lecture. The Museum is open regularly from 10:00 am-5:00 pm Thursday-Saturday the month of January.

For more information, contact the Museum at 269-637-8078 or visit