More shipwreck timber exposed at Chintsa East

It was previously reported that a large piece of shipwreck timber, presumed to be from the Nuovo Abele (1874), had been removed from Chintsa East for curation at the East London Museum. Investigations are still underway to source technical drawings of what may be the Italian barque which wrecked at Chintsa Mouth 142 years ago.

Recently a new length of timber was exposed by dune slumping at Chintsa East (west of the original find). It is undetermined at this time whether or not the shipwreck timber is from the same wreck or not. Robert Stegmann and Sheila Gill reported the find to East London Museum scientist Kevin Cole. Measurements earlier this week on the timber revealed that 2.67 m of a possible frame of wood was exposed and it is expected that an equal length or more is still buried.

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The find has been reported to the South African Heritage Resources Agency and a permit was received to remove the timber for curation at the museum. Members of the public are reminded that such finds are protected by law and are further encouraged not to tamper with the discoveries as this may negatively effect the research potential of the find.

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These finds have been predicted by Kevin Cole as part of an ongoing study on the increased coastal erosion experienced along this part of the South African coast. Minor storm surge events annually are scouring the sandy bottoms of bays such as Chintsa and shipwreck material and artifacts are likely to be brought ashore under these conditions. In addition, the lipĀ of primary dune systems are been eroded back revealing, in this instance, shipwreck material from a known shipwreck site.

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About East London Museum Science

Conservation Biologist East London Museum South Africa
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