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Urn Bomb

October 1st, 2015 by Piper Smith

Discovered during the 1985 salvage of the Isaac Allerton, this earthenware utility urn is believed to have been used as an explosive device by packing it full of black powder and sealing the top with sealing wax. It would have been detonated against the submerged hull of the ship to create a hole, giving divers access to the cargo trapped inside. Charges such as this were ignited using primitive underwater fuse containing fine gunpowder that burned faster than the melting point of its wax coating. The explosion from this device is believed to have been so great that it shattered much of the remaining cargo, leaving fragments of fine marble littering the wreck site to this day. Pieces of this urn were strewn over hundreds of yards surrounding the wreck. It took modern-day divers three years to collect them all and reassemble it as you see it here today.

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