The Serapis Project has been an ongoing effort to locate and identify the remains of the HMS Serapis which sank in the harbor of Ambodifototra, Isle Ste Marie, Madagascar in 1781. Beginning as an oral agreement between Mr. Richard “Dick” Swete, project founder, and Prof. Jean-Aime Rakotoarisoa of the University of Antananarivo, the first scientific underwater archaeological investigation in Malagasy waters was initiated in 1999. The Serapis, under the French flag, had stopped at Isle Ste Marie in 1781 (while in route to India) and sank in the harbor due to an onboard fire. This project, which began over a decade ago, remains strong and today the historic and archaeological research continues with the full participation of the Serapis Project and the Institute of Civilizations/Museum of Art and Archaeology of Madagascar’s University of Antananarivo. Field investigations to date have been conducted at Isle Ste Marie in 1999, 2000, 2004, and most recently in 2008. The purpose of this report will be to highlight all work on this project to date, primarily focusing on the results of the 2008 field season.
Click here to read the report; it's a little long (about 82 pages, so dial-up users, take note) but very well done. Also, be sure to visit the Serapis Project web site - very interesting.