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19th-Century Boat Discovered Under Florida Road

19th-Century Boat Discovered Under Florida Road

In downtown St. Augustine, Florida, a construction crew was digging a trench for a storm water pipe when a backhoe scooping up mud revealed a plank of wood. The digging halted, and Dr. Sam Turner, the archaeologist on site from the global archaeology firm Search Inc., gently wiped away more mud. As he and the construction team carefully worked, the shape of a boat became clear.

It’s not every day that construction workers make major archaeological finds, but recently several archaeological discoveries have been taking place in Florida. As a result, archaeologists from Search Inc. out of Orlando, Florida, have been assigned to construction sites in the event of a discovery.

Artifacts from the vessel were mapped and bagged. 

Daniel Fiore / SEARCH Inc. / Florida Department of Transportation, District Two

Deep in the mud under the road, the planks of wood were almost the consistency of wet cardboard, noted archaeology expert and VP of Search Inc., Jim Delgado. This is because the planks had been soaked in saltwater for so long, some had broken down.

Delgado is confident that the boat was built between 1880 and 1900. The boat is 24- to 28-feet long, with a beam of 7 feet, a flat…

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