Sea explorers have discovered a shipwreck that could have sunk up to 200 years ago in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Experts with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the 19th-century wooden-hulled vessel was first flagged as a potential shipwreck site after an oil-and-gas survey for Shell Oil last year.
Jack Irion, a maritime archeologist with the Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), said the ship's age was estimated with the discovery of a ceramic plate, popular between 1800 and 1830; glass bottles, some with the contents still sealed inside; cannons; and a stove.
"A rare ship's stove on the site is one of only a handful of surviving examples in the world and the second one found on a shipwreck in the Gulf of Mexico," Irion said.
Scientists travelled to the site, about 320 km off the coast of Louisiana, aboard the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer. A team of experts from the NOAA and BOEM used underwater robots with lights and high-definition cameras to explore the copper-lined ship - submerged under more than 1,200 m of water.
The discovery is one of four ships found on a recent 56-day expedition in the region in March and April, but experts said this ship is the most "interesting and historic."
"Shipwrecks help to fill in some of the unwritten pages of history," said Frank Cantelas, a maritime archeologist with NOAA's office of ocean exploration and research.