Cultural Heritage Roundup: Mardi Gras Shipwreck, Shakespeare on pottery, and another National Register property is lost to fire

According to the Block Island Times, on Saturday, March 7 a historic home on Block Island was destroyed by fire. The one-story cottage from 1840, now owned by Eugene Rankin, had been built by Jeremiah Allen. The building would have been eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, but the suspected electrical fire resulted in the loss of an important piece of Block Island’s architectural heritage.

According to the Times-Picayune, discovery continues on a ship that was sunk nearly 200 years ago in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship was rediscovered in 2002, about 35 miles from Louisiana’s coast. Although neither skeletal remains nor the name of the ship have been discovered, several artifacts from the shipwreck (including a telescope, swords, hourglasses, and a stove) are currently being studied by archeologists. Texas A&M’s Department of Oceanography and Nautical Archaeology Program worked with Materials Management Services in 2007 to recover the artifacts. The wreckage may be the remains of a ship which capsized during the War of 1812, after being chased by a British ship in the Gulf. The information seems to fit although it has not yet been verified. Because the mystery ship was found near the Mardi Gras Transmission System, it has come to be called the “Mardi Gras shipwreck.” For pictures and more information, see the Mardi Gras Shipwreck page.


At an excavation in Shoreditch, east London, near the site where Shakespeare once acted and staged his first plays at The Theatre, a piece of 16th century pottery was discovered with what appears to be the face of Shakespeare upon it. Although there is no proof that the face depicted is actually Shakespeare’s, archeologists are excited by the find. Read more about the pottery found at Guardian or discovery of the theater at TimesOnline or Telegraph.

Photo courtesy of LAARCmanager on Flickr.

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