SALEM, Ore. -- Students in Texas have revealed a piece of Oregon history after it was found encased in sand and rock.
One cannon, found by teen beachcomber Miranda Petrone near Arch Cape, was taken to Texas A&M University in February 2008.
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department officials said it was possible two cannons found in the area were the remnants of the 1846 wreck of the USS Shark, a US Navy vessel that sank on the Columbia Bar in 1898.
Workers at the Center for Marine Archaeology and Conservation soaked the cannons to remove salt and chiseled the rock off with hand tools.
A broad arrow engraved on the cannon proved the cannon was likely made for the British Royal Navy, officials said. The early American navy often bought military gear from overseas in the first half of the 19th century.
"We still don't know exactly where these cannon came from, but the information revealed by the lab is certainly pointing toward the USS Shark theory," State Archaeologist Dennis Griffin of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department said. "This is where it gets interesting and exciting. What more clues will we find as the lab continues to work? What questions will be answered, and what new ones will be posed? We'll find out as the lab continues to do their excellent work."
The cannon will be returned to Oregon after the graduate students chemically treat the wood and metal to shield them from corrosion. That could take a couple of years, officials said.
More info: Cannon restored