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Iron Cannon Found During Portsmouth Harbour Dredging

Posted on March 2, 2016

An iron cannon has been unearthed during dredging work on Portsmouth Harbour.

The relic was recovered during a seabed clearance to prepare for the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

Experts believe, although cannons can indicate the presence of unknown shipwrecks, it was an “isolated discovery”.

It is being held at the Mary Rose Museum before tests are carried out to determine its age.

The cannon was found by contractors working to widen and deepen Portsmouth Harbour.

A number of anchors, a quantity of modern glass and a range of ceramics were also found during the work, with further finds expected.

Andrea Hamel of Wessex Archaeology said: “Cannons are particularly exciting finds because they could indicate the presence of a previously unrecorded shipwreck.

“More investigation into the cannon will be needed to determine its significance, but hopefully ongoing research will provide a date range for the cannon and possible provenance.”

Experts are investigating whether the weapon was being used as ballast and dumped overboard from a ship.

It is planned to eventually house the cannon at Portsmouth Museum along with a range of the other artefacts found during the project.

The dredging project forms part of the £100m development of the docks to accommodate both HMS Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales.

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