An archaeological team investigating a shipwreck in Matagorda Bay reaped an unexpected bounty Thursday, pulling a cannon which may be more than 300 years old from a thick bed of mud and 12 feet of murky water.
“This is tremendously exciting,” said Barto Arnold, state marine archaeologist with the Texas Historical Commission team that found the wreck after a 17-year search.
Archaeologists believe the ship was lost by the French explorer La Salle.
The cannon is about 6 feet long and weighs some 1,500 pounds and is believed to be part of La Salle’s personal ship, l’Belle, which sank after it was blown adrift during a storm in 1686. The ship was a gift of King Louis XIV of France.