Personal Items

Site 35F

Blue China

SS Republic

The excavation of the “Tortugas” shipwreck yielded an eclectic assortment of objects believed to be the personal belongings of those aboard the vessel. Included are items that were products of the New World such as a jadeite/greenstone labret (lip ornament) and a pair of wooden drop spindles intended for spinning various textiles.

Especially intriguing are six sections of worked ivory - pieces from a portable octagonal sundial diptych, thought to be the earliest octagonal example recovered from a shipwreck.  The “Tortugas” example is likely the product of the great mathematical tool production center of Nuremberg, Germany and signifies the presence of a well-appointed merchant on the ship, if it was not the personal property of the captain.

Also included among the personal belongings recovered are ten fragments of highly degraded worked leather from one or two shoes, tortoiseshell combs, an onyx inkwell and shaker set and jewelry.

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Shipwrecks: Artifacts & Treasure 

 www.shipwreck.net