The test excavation of the William Salthouse wreck site

Mark Staniforth, Libby Vickery

Research output: Book/ReportAnthologypeer-review


The wreck site of a mid-19th century trading vessel, later identified as the William Salthouse, was discovered by divers in August 1982. Staff of the Maritime Archaeological Unit inspected the site in December 1982 and it was declared a historic shipwreck on 22 December 1982. During March and April 1983 a five week test excavation was carried out on the site to obtain information about the ship's cargo, methods of stowage, and to produce an overall site plan. The William Salthouse was the first large vessel to sink inside Port Phillip Bay, just five years after the settlement of the region, and was the first recorded trading vessel ever to voyage direct from Canada to any Australian port.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFremantle, WA
PublisherThe Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAustralian Institute for Maritime Archaeology Special Publication


  • William Salthouse
  • Shipwrecks
  • Underwater archaeology
  • Victoria -- History -- 19th century
  • Port Phillip Bay
  • Excavations


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