SEARCH led the archaeological survey that identified the wreck of Clotilda—the last ship known to have brought captive Africans to the US.
Discovered partially submerged along the bank of the Mobile River in Alabama, Clotilda’s remains are the best-preserved archaeological site connected with the transatlantic slave trade. Working for the Alabama Historical Commission in consultation with the descendant community of Africatown, SEARCH has conducted three field seasons of excavation, documentation, analysis, and detailed historical study, which led to a successful nomination of Clotilda to the National Register of Historic Places.
The latest phase of work seeks to answer questions about the best plan of action for preserving the wreck and learning more from its remains.
We are humbled by the story and significance of this archaeological site. As archaeologists, we are often asked why the work we do matters. The story of Clotilda is a testament to how cultural heritage can impact a community, especially one as powerfully connected to this story as Africatown.
Dr. Anne V. Stokes, CEO of SEARCH, Inc.
Cover story in National Geographic (February 2020)
Featured on 60 Minutes and PBS NewsHour
Subject of Clotilda: Last American Slave Ship, a National Geographic documentary
Subject of an episode of National Geographic’s international TV series Drain the Oceans
Subject of Descendent, a Netflix documentary and winner of the Special Jury Award for Creative Vision at Sundance
News of Clotilda’s discovery has now reached more than 2B people worldwide.