"Hunley is raising the bar for underwater archaeology and conservation," said Michael McCarthy from the Western Australian Museum's Department of Maritime Archaeology in an interview in American Archaeology Magazine's Summer 2001 issue. "Not only is she viewed as a significant object of history, but also a significant research and science project. This is perhaps the find of the century."

The H.L. Hunley submarine in the Warren Lasch Conservation Center. The sub is resting in its support slings in a 55,000-gallon treatment tank.
Once the H.L. Hunley was raised from her watery grave on August 8, 2000, she was immediately transported to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center. As soon as the H.L. Hunley arrived at the Conservation Center, she was placed in a large steel tank filled with 55,000 gallons of chilled fresh water. This was done to minimize bacteria and corrosion activity, to protect and stabilize the waterlogged submarine, and to begin the process of desalination. Shortly thereafter, preparations for the excavation of the interior of the hull could begin. Here, the mysteries of how and why she met her tragic fate will be revealed and the entire vessel will be conserved for posterity, as part of a permanent museum display.

The H.L. Hunley is unique in that she is essentially a time capsule, holding all the contents she held the night she sunk over a century ago during one of the most famous naval battles of all time. The excavation and analysis of the H.L. Hunley continues to provide many clues for archaeologists, conservators, anthropologists, and historians as they seek to understand the events that led to the loss of the H.L. Hunley and her crew, events that also led to the dawn of the modern era in submarine technology.

Related Pages:

Excavation Timeline
Lt. Dixon's Gold Coin
Ezra Chamberlin's ID Tag
Facial Reconstructions

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