The Tile Wreck Maritime Archaeological Project

Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic, Caribbean
Photographs From The 2013-2014 Field Season

May 2013

Archaeologist Nicky Bose uncovering the second piece of  The Tile Wreck's  rudder, this time to seaward of the main hull section

Archaeologist Nicky Bose uncovering the second piece of The Tile Wreck's rudder, this time to seaward of the main hull section


During May, July-August and December 2013 and February 2014 teams were working on the French armed merchant ship we call The Tile Wreck in Monte Cristi.

Whilst we know a lot about the ship, its mission, the cargo, the originating point, the cargo of granite blocks and where they came from, we still have a few questions to answer.

The research questions we were hoping to answer were as follows:

1.     Conformation of the bow and stern positions on the wreck site.

2.     Location of the missing cannon which has been eluding the Team for some time.

3.     An understanding of the "three pieces of timber".

4.     Identify the name of the wreck.

5.     To complete more of the magnetometer survey around the wreck site to establish the maximum range of the shipscpe from the mast step.

Whilst the Team was unable to complete all of the above, some of the questions were answered. However new artefact finds such as hawser pipe, the missing section of the ships rudder, iron 4 pounder grenades and other items did add to the research questions.

During the year the biological features changed. At the beginning of the year lion fish were present although less than previous years. On the last expedition these had been reduced to one and were replaced by other fish which greatly enhanced the wreck site.

The project was the continuation of a multi year project to analyse the wreck site and was undertaken for the Ministry of Culture for the Dominican Republics Government. Oficina Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural Subacuático (ONPCS), and National Parks. Representatives were on the team as well as local support staff. 

During 2013 the Team represented: Dominican Republic, England, France, China, USA, Switzerland and Canada. On the whole the weather held and apart from a few days of wind which meant that the Team undertook artefact handling in the lab. A lot of work was achieved and the project was a great success.

The team continued working on this important wreck site during February 2014 where the rudder was fully uncovered. The main question was did this section of the rudder match the other section found in 2007 on the far side of the wreck site.