18th Century wreck uncovered

 
 
HMS Swift was a small Royal Navy warship stationed at Port Egmont in the Falkland/Malvinas Islands. The captain was following orders to conduct surveys of the region, during which the vessel struck an un-chartered rock on the Patagonian coast in 1770, resulting in the loss of the ship and three of her crew.
 
The wreck is now being excavated by archaeologists, with the recovery of pottery probably originating from Wedgwood in Stoke on Trent.
 
The extraordinary story will be the focus of a free public lecture organised by the University's School of Legal Studies on Monday, 7 July 2008, from 7.30pm. The speakers are Dr Dolores Elkin, Head of the Maritime section, and Professor Chris Underwood, Visiting Fellow, both from the National Institute of Anthropology, Argentina. Prof Underwood was one of the original members of the Mary Rose excavation team.
 
Senior Lecturer Mike Williams, who organised the lecture, said: “The ship was in an amazing state of preservation and has been described as the Argentine ‘Mary Rose’, but the preservation is much better than that.
 
“What they have found is an amazing collection of pottery, which they believe is early Wedgwood, from the Captain’s quarters. This will be the first time the excavation has been talked about to the public in the UK and we are delighted to host what promises to be an interesting event.”
 
The public lecture will be held in MC001, in the Millennium City Building at City Campus. Entry is free and open to all but places must be booked in advance. Please contact Julie Hayward at j.hayward@wlv.ac.uk or call 01902 322145.

Further information

Mike Williams is happy to be interviewed about the wreck and the lecture. Dr Dolores Elkin and Professor Chris Underwood will be in the UK on Monday, July 7. For further information, please contact Vickie Woodward in the Press Office on 01902 322736 or 07973 335112.
 

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