Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Possible 17th C. Dutch Trading Ship Excavated

Monday, August 19, 2013

swashDORSET, ENGLAND—Researchers hope to identify the heavily armed merchantman they have just finished excavating off the coast of southwest England. Known as the Swash Channel Wreck, the ship’s rudder bears a carved face, indicating it was a high-status vessel. More than 1,000 artifacts from the second quarter of the seventeenth century have been recovered, but no cargo remained on board. Tests show that the wood for the ship was cut in 1628 from the coastal region near the Netherlands-Germany border. “We have been working on names, but there is no smoking gun, which is surprising, because it is a big ship and its sinking would have been a big event,” said Dave Parham of Bournemouth University.