Gulf of Mexico

Archaeological and Geophysical work in the Gulf of Mexico

There are more than 300 known deep-water shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico spanning nearly 500 years of history. Based in Houston, Texas, ProMare has conducted a series of projects in the Gulf, concentrating upon the general circulation of small 19th century merchant ships. The 19th century, the period in which the United States economy began to develop, saw small vessels shouldering the burden of initiating commercial connections between the burgeoning ports of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and the Atlantic coast of the present-day United States. Trade and income generated through the flourishing economy in the Gulf constituted the backbone of US economy during the critical period in which the Union was formed. Our research interests in the Gulf encompass a broad range of topics, and include fostering an understanding of the navigation patterns, commercial patterns, vessel and rig types of ships in this period, as well as how all of these elements were affected by technological factors (such as the development of the steam engine, the iron hull, and screw propeller), by large-scale construction (of canals, barges, and railroads), and by government investments in turnpikes, canals and railroads.

ProMare projects conducted in the Gulf of Mexico can be reached through the links provided on the right.