Le Dragon Wreck 2018 Project

A Lead Box and Sheeting

The lead sheeting pieces were found in the stern section where we placed a 5m*5m survey grid. Most of them were just below the surface and all were fastened with bronze nails, the same that were used for the copper sheeting. All of them had the same size of nails holes and some bronze nails were still attached.

The lead box was located in the stern section by Robert (Bob) Yee who worked for NASA, and was pinned under a iron ballast bar. It was bottom down and was filled with sand. The lid was located under the sand by about 2 cm in the immediate area about 1 meter away. The lid fits the box although both have been bent probably during the explosion. Upon examining both the lid and the box there appears to be no inscriptions or makers marks although the lid still has concretion on it. It is possible that there will be a maker’s mark and after conservation we will know more.

One interesting find was a round disk with a bar protruding from it on the other side. It gave the impression it was a seal for a pump possibly the bilge pump.

Other items were copper alloy copper bands. These were equal width copper strips which were formed into a loop with a lead style seal joining the two ends together. Some had concretion on and others the concretion was broken off. There was no visible writing or impressions on them or the seals. At the moment we are assuming they were used to seal a bag or keep something together, like the modern plastic strapping which has metal seals. The big question is what were they holding, bags of gunpowder, important supplies, documents, we dont know yet….