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stepping stones of maritime history


Between 1967 and 1977 the Dutch Archaeological Service (ROB) carried out research in Wijk bij Duurstede. In 1973 and 1974 remains of an overnight ship were found in the northern harbour of Dorestad (Hoogstraat ii).

It seems that the ship sank in the harbour. The site covers an area of about 30 meters that roughly corresponds to the outline of a shipwreck. Within it, fragments of a ship's hull and a wrack were found. Rivets were also found. Dendrochronological examination yielded a felling date after circa 739.


Type: Scandinavian longboat, presumably a knar type

The hull fragment, 120 by 70 centimetres in size, consists of four strakes that are connected with Nordic rivets. The gangways are relatively narrow, around 24 to 27 centimetres. Another plank fragment has seven diagonally drilled pin holes for fixing the trusses. One of the oak pens is partly still present. The pin has a rounded head of the Nordic type.

The v-shaped wrangle was attached to the edges with wooden pins, except for the keel and the first two passages. This loose construction, in which the wringes / trusses rest loosely on the keel, has previously been observed on Scandinavian ships, such as the Nydam ship, the Oseberg ship and Skudelev II.

The caulking found appears to be sheep wool. All construction details of the wreckage found in Dorestad point to a ship built in Scandinavian tradition.

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