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Happy Birthday! Photo via The Maritime Executive

 

On October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress voted to fit out two armed sailing vessels to intercept British transports carrying munitions and stores to their forces in America. Out of this decree, the original birth certificate of the navy, grew the Continental Navy. [U.S. Navy History]

Page of the “Journal of the Continental Congress” containing the main part of the resolve authorizing a Continental Naval Force, 13 October 1775. Copied from the papers of the Continental Congress, Record Group 360 in the National Archives. NHHC Photograph Collection.

 

“Resolved, That a swift sailing vessel, to carry ten carriage guns, and a proportionable number of swivels, with eighty men, be fitted, with all possible despatch, for a cruise of three months, and that the commander be instructed to cruize eastward, for intercepting such transports as may be laden with warlike stores and other supplies for our enemies, and for such other purposes as the Congress shall direct.

USS Alfred, (1775-1778), flagship of America’s first Navy Squadron. Artwork by Al Mattal. Courtesy of the Cochrane Collection Lithograph of painting. NHHC Photograph Collection.

 
That a Committee of three be appointed to prepare an estimate of the expence, and lay the same before the Congress, and to contract with proper persons to fit out the vessel.

Resolved, that another vessel be fitted out for the same purposes, and that the said committee report their opinion of a proper vessel, and also an estimate of the expence.”

Read more about  The Birth of the Navy of the United States from the U.S. Naval History Archives…

by Mai Armstrong

A seven-foot bronze spear was among the artifacts retrieved from the ancient shipwreck. Photo via Scientific American

 

Antikythera, a ship lost in the waters near Greece in 70 B.C., has revealed more of her ancient treasures. [Scientific American]

The sunken ship was discovered more than a century ago by Greek sponge divers in 1900 and explored again in the 1970’s by an expedition led by Jacques Cousteau.

Gem-encrusted jewelry from the wreck. Photo: National Archaeological Museum of Athens

 

These early expeditions yielded many treasures  from the wreck – bronze statues, gold jewelry, even an early bronze analog computer called the Antikythera Mechanism.

Antikythera mechanism fragment. Photo: National Archaeological Museum, Athens, via wikipedia

 

But now, new technologies have enabled archeologists, engineers and divers to revisit the legendary Antikythera wreck some call “The Titanic of the ancient world.”

A diver descends in the Exosuit. Photo: Scientific American

 

Scientific American: After three weeks of diving on an ancient shipwreck beside Antikythera Island, an international expedition has produced the results it sought: proof that the wreck from 70 B.C. still contains much precious buried treasure, and a mandate to carry on with its detailed archeological excavation.

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Perhaps the most intriguing find was evidence that there are two wrecks on the site, not just one. The main wreck is from a ship that was very large for the time, up to 50 meters long—now spread out across the ocean bottom at the foot of an underwater cliff 165 feet deep. The possible second wreck is about 200 meters away.

Read more from Scientific American here…

by Mai Armstrong

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