Week Five in the Turret

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Hello Everyone! We’ve been busy in the turret for the last few weeks. As Kate explained in her post earlier, we are concentrating on removing the remaining nutguards. There are a total of 24 ringing the inside of the turret in various states of preservation. So far we’ve dismantled the smaller fragments and are working towards the larger, more intact ones. We chip away at the concretion behind the nutguards and along the edges until they can be lifted off. Some are still bolted in place and the bolts can be unscrewed with a wrench due to the excellent preservation of the inner thread system.

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Although the outside of the nut is degraded, the inside threads are easy to unscrew.

Once the nutguards are detached, we concentrate on removing the concretion that formed behind the barrier. This consists of hard iron corrosion and concretion mixed with sludgy sand and softer corrosion products. In addition to revealing more of the turret walls, we are interested in any remaining artifacts lodged behind the plates.

Removed nutguards are currently stored on boards in the turret.
Removed nutguards are currently stored on boards in the turret.

Notable finds are a wooden utensil handle with the iron tang present which was found by Kate. Elsa has been working on excavating possible rope fragments behind another nutguard. As for me, I’m working on removing the second of two nuts which were sheared off as a result of a direct cannonball hit. This is an awesome feature because it shows that the nutguards actually did fulfill their purpose and kept any fasteners from ricocheting around the turret. Another brilliant idea from Ericsson!

Utensil handle found behind nutguard in the turret
Utensil handle found behind a nutguard in the turret

 

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