Buried in mud beneath the shallow waters of Matagorda Bay in Texas, lay a glorious remnant of one of the most ill-fated voyages of the Age of Discovery. After years of searching the area, nautical archaeologists doing a magnetometer survey honed in o... (more)n a promising site. And on the first day of diving, they were astounded to feel the distinctive outlines of a cannon, and sense the massive size of the wreck. When the cannon was hauled from the water, their hunch was confirmed: This ship, called La Belle, belonged to the 17th Century French explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle. NOVA follows the building of a coffer dam and subsequent complete excavation of this remarkable site. Preserved were not only armaments and trade beads, but also a wealth of organic material—the wooden hull, leather shoes, and even a skeleton—that brings the voyage to life.
Nov 09, 1999
Dec 21, 1999