Wrecking in the Archaeological Record
Mr. William E. Meyer, ex-mayor of St. George's Parish, and owner of the Meyer’s Wharf ship-breaking facilities (from Wells, 1935, Bermuda in Three Colors, page 212).
Ship-breaking has been a profitable business since antiquity. During the ship-breaking process, salvagers strip damaged or obsolete vessels of useful material soon after they are abandoned and often continue removing raw materials for many years. Today of these activities continue to occur throughout the world, most notably on the beaches of India and Bangladesh. The breaking yard at Meyer’s Wharf was the main location for stripping and salvaging ships in Bermuda. In some cases vessels were demolished out of existence, for others (such as Vessels 3 and 4), little more than their keels remain. Despite being a popular practice around the world, the reasons people salvage ships, and the processes and technologies they use to break apart watercraft have not been extensively explored. The historical and archaeological research at Meyer’s Wharf hopes to shed light on these activities.