Rudder raised from seabed after 400 years by marine archaeologists

Related Articles

Related Articles

The 17th century Swash Channel Wreck with elaborate carved rudder was raised today by marine archaeologists from Bournemouth University

The rudder – which features a man’s face carved into the wood – is part of the Swash Channel Wreck, thought to have been a Dutch trading ship which sank in the early 17th century.

Very little is known about the ship, which was discovered on the bed of the English Channel near Poole Harbour, and a project has been led by marine archaeologists from Bournemouth University to protect, excavate and find out more about the wreck.

 

Project leader Dave Parham, a senior lecturer in marine archaeology at BU, said: “This is the first time this rudder has been seen above the surface in more than 400 years

“It’s a spectacular object, with a human head carved in one end.

“There are no others of this type that have been found in the UK, and it is unusual for one like this to be recovered in its entirety – it is eight and a half metres long and weighs around three and a half tonnes.”

The Swash Channel Wreck project has been running for the past seven years, and artefacts recovered from the wreck so far include cannons, leather shoes and wooden barrels.

SCW - rudder being raised
SCW – rudder being raised : Credit Bournmouth University

Other parts of the ship – including wooden carvings and a canister of cannon shot – have already been raised.

The rudder is the last major part of the ship due to be raised, and the remaining parts of the wreck have been covered with sand to protect it from seawater.

The rudder will now go to York for two years for conservation before going on display in Poole Museum.

“We’ve only recovered around 4 per cent of the wreck and the rudder is the single largest object that we’ve raised,” said Dave.

“It’s the culmination of seven years of hard work and it was a very moving experience. It’s a pleasant relief that it has all gone well.

“It is the ship itself that is significant – there are only a few wrecks like this in the world, and it tells us more about the beginnings of the large scale international trade.”

The Swash Channel Wreck project is a partnership between Bournemouth University and the Borough of Poole Museum Service and has been funded by a £141,200 grant from the Lottery Heritage Fund.

Header Image : Credit Bournemouth University

Contributing Source : Bournemouth University

HeritageDaily : Archaeology News : Archaeology Press Releases

Archtools

Download the HeritageDaily mobile application on iOS and Android

More on this topic

LATEST NEWS

Karahundj – The Ancient Speaking Stones

Karahundj, also called Carahunge and Zorats Karer is an ancient stone complex, constructed on a mountain plateau in the Syunik Province of Armenia.

Palaeontologists Establish Spinosaurus Was Real Life ‘River Monster’

A discovery of more than a thousand dinosaur teeth, by a team of researchers from the University of Portsmouth, proves beyond reasonable doubt that Spinosaurus, the giant predator made famous by the movie Jurassic Park III as well as the BBC documentary Planet Dinosaur was an enormous river-monster.

Archaeology Uncovers Infectious Disease Spread – 4000 Years Ago

New bioarchaeology research from a University of Otago PhD candidate has shown how infectious diseases may have spread 4000 years ago, while highlighting the dangers of letting such diseases run rife.

Buhen – The Sunken Egyptian Fortress

Buhen was an ancient Egyptian settlement and fortress, located on the West bank of the Nile in present-day Sudan.

The Modhera Sun Temple

The Sun Temple is an ancient Hindu temple complex located on a latitude of 23.6° (near Tropic of Cancer) on the banks of the Pushpavati river at Modhera in Gujarat, India.

Scientists Hunt For Lost WW2 Bunkers Designed to Hold Off Invasion

New research published by scientists from Keele, Staffordshire and London South Bank Universities, has unveiled extraordinary new insights into a forgotten band of secret fighters created to slow down potential invaders during World War Two.

Sea Ice Triggered the Little Ice Age

A new study finds a trigger for the Little Ice Age that cooled Europe from the 1300s through mid-1800s, and supports surprising model results suggesting that under the right conditions sudden climate changes can occur spontaneously, without external forcing.

Venus’ Ancient Layered, Folded Rocks Point to Volcanic Origin

An international team of researchers has found that some of the oldest terrain on Venus, known as tesserae, have layering that seems consistent with volcanic activity. The finding could provide insights into the enigmatic planet's geological history.

Popular stories

The Secret Hellfire Club and the Hellfire Caves

The Hellfire Club was an exclusive membership-based organisation for high-society rakes, that was first founded in London in 1718, by Philip, Duke of Wharton, and several of society's elites.

Port Royal – The Sodom of the New World

Port Royal, originally named Cagway was an English harbour town and base of operations for buccaneers and privateers (pirates) until the great earthquake of 1692.

Matthew Hopkins – The Real Witch-Hunter

Matthew Hopkins was an infamous witch-hunter during the 17th century, who published “The Discovery of Witches” in 1647, and whose witch-hunting methods were applied during the notorious Salem Witch Trials in colonial Massachusetts.

Did Corn Fuel Cahokia’s Rise?

A new study suggests that corn was the staple subsistence crop that allowed the pre-Columbian city of Cahokia to rise to prominence and flourish for nearly 300 years.