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Still Waters

Uncovering secrets of York Beach shipwreck

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Still Waters

About two years ago, a nor’easter struck York Beach, Maine, revealing the skeleton of a centuries-old shipwreck beneath the sand. This was far from the first time the mysterious ruin had surfaced, only to disappear again: In fact, the wreck first appeared on the state’s sandy shores in 1958. Now, after decades of anonymity, marine archaeologist Stefan Claesson has found evidence linking the vessel to a colonial-era cargo ship called the Defiance.

Claesson presented his findings to the local Board of Selectmen earlier this month, reports Erin Hayes for Seacoast Online. To identify the wreck, he sent pieces of its hull to the Cornell University Tree-Ring Laboratory...

The Cornell lab analysis found that the trees used to build the ship were felled in 1753. Though 18th-century sailors often abandoned old, leaky ships on sandbars, the researchers suspect the York Beach ship met its demise under different circumstances.


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