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“Zwaanendael Shipwreck Archaeology” program in Lewes, Delaware


“Zwaanendael Shipwreck Archaeology” program to be held at Lewes Delaware’s Zwaanendael Museum on May 29, 2010

Stipple drawing by Sharyn Murray of a miniature toy soldier recovered from the Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck.
(Dover, Delaware—April 20, 2010)—The Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck and HMB DeBraak, two of the more than 200 shipwrecks that have littered the floors of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay off Lewes, Delaware, will be explored in the program “Zwaanendael Shipwreck Archaeology” which will take place on Saturday, May 29, 2010, between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., at the Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, in Lewes, Delaware 19958. Admission to the event is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.
        In addition to historical information and a display of artifacts recovered from the two shipwrecks, “Zwaanendael Shipwreck Archaeology” will include a hands-on activity which will help children better understand the science of archaeology by finding, analyzing and researching, or drawing artifacts. The program will also feature a demonstration of stipple drawing by Sharyn Murray, a Millsboro, Delaware artist and Zwaanendael Museum historical interpreter. Stippling creates an image through the use of small dots of a single color of pigment, applied with a pen or brush. Murray has recently completed a collection of stipple drawings of artifacts recovered from the Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck.
HMB DeBraak was a British naval vessel that sank in the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Henlopen in 1798. The ship was raised, and badly damaged, during a commercial salvage operation in 1986. The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs (HCA) has curated the remains of the ship’s hull and its contents since they were acquired by the State of Delaware in 1992.
The Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck is thought to be the remains of a British commercial ship that ran aground near present day Roosevelt Inlet in the late 1700s. The wreck was inadvertently discovered in 2004 during a beach replenishment project that mined sand from the floor of Delaware Bay. An underwater archaeological investigation located the shipwreck site in 2005, while a second investigation in 2006 recovered a wide range of artifacts representing the ship's cargo. Recovered artifacts from the shipwreck are curated by HCA.
The Zwaanendael Museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state's first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631. Designed by E. William Martin (architect of Legislative Hall and the Hall of Records in Dover), the museum is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and features a stepped facade gable with carved stonework and decorated shutters.
The museum’s exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military, and social history. In addition to “Zwaanendael Shipwreck Archaeology,” the museum is currently featuring the exhibit, “Maritime History on the Delaware” which showcases over 11,000 years of Lewes history and culture supported by an array of artifacts, maps, sketches, lithographs, and photographs; and “Rediscovery Through Recovery” which displays artifacts from the Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck.

Zwaanendael Museum
The Zwaanendael Museum
is administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, an agency of the State of Delaware. HCA enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality, and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history and culture. HCA’s diverse array of services includes administration of the state’s historic preservation office, operation of museums and a conference center, and management of historic properties across Delaware. Primary funding for HCA’s programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, a federal agency.

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