Timber Found in Griffin Shipwreck Search Is Centuries Old

FAIRPORT, Mich. (AP) -- Scientists say a wooden beam extending from the floor of northern Lake Michigan appears to have been there for centuries, an important finding as they try to determine whether it's part of the Griffin, the first European-style ship to sail on the upper Great Lakes.

Marine archaeologists from the U.S. and France are studying the timber and digging a pit beneath it. They said Tuesday a probing device has detected what appears to be a solid surface 18 to 20 feet below the lake floor.

They say they're still not certain they're dealing with a shipwreck. But Michel L'Hour of France's Department of Underwater Archaeological Research says the timber appears to be a bowsprit, which is a pole that extends from a vessel's stem.

The Griffin disappeared in 1679.


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