Forward motion continues for Project Mishoon. The Nipmuc Nation, in a collaborative effort with MBUAR and ADAM, is currently researching more suitable options for the documentation of the artifacts. Additionally, we are looking into funding venues for a 1-hour documentary that will detail the entire project as well as Nipmuc history and culture.
Divers Michael Prange and Bob Michelson, co-founders of ADAM, photographed the sites #1 and #2 in November and December 2008, producing the first detailed photo mosaic of one of the mishoonash. According to MBUAR Board Director Victor Mastone, this new imagery will set a reliable baseline for evaluating the conditions of the mishoonash and their environmental context. Look for the photo mosaic on the website soon.
The divers also noted the presence of modern debris in the vicinity of the sites, raising concern about the safety of the artifacts. Michelson noted that during the assessment dives they discovered 55-gallon barrels, truck tires and buckets in close proximity to the artifacts. As a result we are extending our survey to a 2-meter radius from the mishoonash to identify any impending hazards to these sensitive submerged cultural resources.
Ongoing research of 2 of the 3 dugout canoes located in Quinsigamond also brought UMass Boston scientists onto the ice in February 2009 in search of Quinsigamond's historical shoreline. Utilizing Ground Penetrating Radar from his lab at UMass Boston Department of Environmental, Earth & Ocean Sciences (EEOS), Allen Gontz, PhD., will develop imagery of the lake floor surrounding the mishoonash. The images will then be used to create reconstructions of past shorelines and 3-D models. Gontz will return in warmer weather to survey the lake to supplement his data.
This past February 2010, the ADAM team conducted an ice dive with plans for more underwater photography and videography. However, repair work near the Rt. 9 bridge resulted in a very limited visibility of 2-3 feet near the surface. While the photography was canceled, the dive served as a good trial run for future through the ice dives on the sites.
The Nipmuc Nation hopes to reach to the communities of Worcester, Shrewsbury and Grafton for future collaboration on a lake museum that will showcase the mishoonash alongside other Lake Quinsigamond history. We are currently seeking a suitable lot with an existing structure that can be used for conservation of the mishoonash, and then eventually become a lake museum.