Wooden beam could be detached part of shipwreck

FAIRPORT, Mich. (AP) — Archaeologists say a wooden beam found embedded in the floor of Lake Michigan wasn’t attached to a larger vessel, but that it could be a detached piece of wreckage from a ship that disappeared while exploring the Great Lakes in the 17th Century.

The discovery of the more than 10-foot-long section of the beam led to an expedition that began last week to determine whether it’s part of the Griffin. The ship was commanded by the French explorer La Salle and disappeared in 1679.

Crews have been digging beside the timber for signs of the Griffin in mud below. Expedition leaders say the beam worked loose Tuesday, so a diver eased it to the lake floor.

A French archaeologist says it still appears the beam came from a ship.

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