Excavation for the Harbor View Hilton Hotel along San Diego’s waterfront uncovered a small flat-bottom iron-clad wooden boat. It was overturned and lay on the former mudflat, approximately 30 feet below today’s street level. The boat was intact, with no obvious hull damage, but because it was stripped of all deck hardware, identification of the boat’s function was inhibited. Historical research indicated that this area of the waterfront was created from dredging fill in the early 1910s as part of a larger bayfront project. The sediments in which the boat was found were known to be deposited in 1913.
PanGIS provided staff archaeologists and a historian for this project. Staff were responsible for historic research and excavating the remains of the boat buried in fine, wet, sticky sediments. The resource was recorded during the excavation using a high-precision GPS. PanGIS staff were major contributors to the project report and DPR Form, and also produced the GIS database and created report maps. Extended research at the San Diego Historical Society, the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle resulted in professional presentations for the Society for California Archaeology and the San Diego County Archaeological Society. This research provided a clearer picture of the history of San Diego’s bayfront commercial development.