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Description and Analysis of Seventeenth-Century Flintlock Pistols from Pedro Bank, Jamaica

Lisa Garigen
Thesis: December 1991
Chair: Hamilton
Nautical Archaeology Program


This thesis will document, research and describe the conservation of several concreted pistols in order to formulate a definitive catalog of all the pistols recovered from the Spanish fleet ship that sunk in 1691 on Pedro Bank, Jamaica.

To this end, I present a brief history of the Spanish fleets to provide general knowledge about the Tierra Firme fleet. Then, a brief description on the excavations at Pedro Bank will be given. Following this, I discuss the history of the development of the flintlock. Descriptions of the various conservation methods used and their effects on the pistols will be discussed next. From the research conducted on the pistols conclusions will be drawn as to the pistols country of origin and their purpose on the vessel. In the conclusion, I will refer to typology charts that contain the descriptive data concerning the pistols, and reconstruction drawings of the two different types of pistols included in the conclusions. A complete catalog of the pistols and pistol fragments will include descriptions and drawings of each artifact.


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