• Wed. Mar 29th, 2023

Earliest English medieval shipwreck site uncovered off Dorset coast


Sep 20, 2022

Maritime archaeologists from Bournemouth College have uncovered the stays of a medieval ship and its cargo courting again to the Thirteenth century off the coast of Dorset. The survival of the vessel is extraordinarily uncommon and there aren’t any identified wrecks of seagoing ships from the eleventh to the 14th centuries in English waters. The invention makes this the earliest English designated wreck website the place hull stays could be seen.

Diver viewing a embellished Purbeck stone headstone on the Thirteenth century ‘Mortar Wreck’,
Poole Bay, Dorset [Credit: Bournemouth University]

The ship was found in Poole Bay on the sting of the Swash Channel by native constitution boat skipper Trevor Small of Rocket Charters who reported the invention to archaeologists from Bournemouth College. Trevor stated: “I used to be born right into a seafaring household. I’ve skippered hundreds of sea miles on the lookout for shipwrecks from my residence port of Poole. In summer season 2020, I found what I believed to be an undetected wreck website. Current storms had revealed one thing unknown on the seabed. I used to be granted permission to dive the wreck. The remaining is historical past! I’ve discovered one of many oldest shipwrecks in England.”

Maritime Archaeologist, Tom Cousins who’s a part of the staff at Bournemouth College assigned to uncover and protect the wreck stated: “Only a few 750-year-old ships stay for us to have the ability to see as we speak and so we’re extraordinarily fortunate to have found an instance as uncommon as this, and in such good situation. A mixture of low-oxygenated water, sand and stones has helped protect one aspect of the ship, and the hull is clearly seen.”

Earliest English medieval shipwreck site uncovered off Dorset coast
Bournmeouth College maritime archaeologist diving subsequent to one of many ornamental
gravestones on the seabed [Credit: Bournemouth University]

The vessel, referred to as a clinker ship in its design, is created from overlapping planks of wooden and was carrying a cargo of Purbeck stone. The shipwreck is known as the ‘Mortar Wreck,’ since a lot of the cargo contained inside the wreck additionally contains a number of Purbeck stone mortars, that are massive stones utilized by mills to grind grains into flour.

Purbeck stone is a type of limestone created from densely packed shells of freshwater snails. Quarried on the Isle of Purbeck on the south coast of England, the stone can also be known as Purbeck marble, as a consequence of its means to be extremely polished. Purbeck marble is utilized in Gothic structure throughout Britain and the continent. Different gadgets discovered within the wreck embody a cauldron used to cook dinner meals in, which might have been positioned instantly onto a hearth. 

Earliest English medieval shipwreck site uncovered off Dorset coast
Mortar wreck contents [Credit: Bournemouth University]

Two Purbeck marble headstone slabs have been additionally discovered within the wreck in remarkably good situation. Purbeck marble headstone slabs have been extensively used throughout the south of England and have been exported to Eire and the continent. One of many slabs encompasses a wheel headed cross, an early Thirteenth century fashion, whereas the opposite encompasses a splayed arm cross, frequent within the mid-Thirteenth century.

The invention has re-written our understanding of how headstone slabs have been produced in line with Brian and Moira Gittos from the Church Monuments society who stated: “Even this early stage within the investigation, it has been clearly demonstrated that two cross head designs which have been beforehand regarded as a part of a developmental sequence have been really in use on the identical time. 

Earliest English medieval shipwreck site uncovered off Dorset coast
Ship crew’s couldron [Credit: Bournemouth University]

Additional work on the wreck may be very prone to enormously improve our understanding of the work of the medieval Purbeck marblers’.” These have been discovered to be carved, reasonably than clean slabs which means that these have been produced as a type of business. It’s believed that the unpolished slabs would have both been carved at an area quarry, or at a workshop.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Government of Historic England, who has been working carefully with the college stated: “The Thirteenth century ship with its cargo of medieval Purbeck stone is fascinating as a result of it’s the earliest English protected wreck website the place hull stays are current.”

Tree ring evaluation signifies that the timbers used to assemble the hull are from Irish oak timber, felled between 1242-1265.The Irish origin of the timbers doesn’t essentially imply the ship was constructed in Eire as Irish oak was extensively exported for shipbuilding through the medieval interval. One concept is that the ship might have been misplaced on its means out from the Dorset coast, with its cargo of Purbeck stone.

Rebecca Rossiter, Engagement and Collections Supervisor at Poole Museum, who will probably be exhibiting the cargo finds from the Mortar Wreck stated: “It’s thrilling that finds from the Mortar Wreck will probably be happening show in certainly one of Poole Museum’s three new maritime galleries. Our new maritime galleries are a part of Our Museum Mission £4.3m redevelopment of the museum, supported by The Nationwide Lottery Heritage fund. They are going to open to the general public in 2024, and native residents and guests will be capable to see a few of these unimaginable finds up shut and listen to the tales about how the wreck was found and excavated from the folks concerned.”

Source: Bournemouth University [July 21, 2022]

Assist The Archaeology Information Community with a small donation!


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A note to our visitors

This website has updated its privacy policy in compliance with changes to European Union data protection law, for all members globally. We’ve also updated our Privacy Policy to give you more information about your rights and responsibilities with respect to your privacy and personal information. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our updated privacy policy.