Cannons dredged from Savannah River may predate Civil War

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Workers dredging muck from the Savannah harbor unexpectedly scooped up three cannons that likely predate the Civil War, officials said Friday.

The Army Corps of Engineers said a hinged clamshell dredge that was preparing a section of the Savannah River for deepening in late February unearthed five artifacts from the riverbed.

In addition to the cannons, workers discovered a ship’s anchor and a large piece of wood with flat sides shaped by tools, such as a beam or a plank.

“It looks pre-Civil War from what we can see of it,” said Billy Birdwell, spokesman for the Army Corps’ Savannah District. “Of course, it’s totally encrusted in stuff.”

Birdwell said archaeologists are looking for clues to the artifacts’ origins and are almost certain they’re not related to the sunken Confederate gunship CSS Georgia, which was excavated by divers in the harbor in 2015.

Dredging has been temporarily halted in the area of the river where the items were discovered, Birdwell said, while officials determine whether to search for more artifacts.