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stepping stones of maritime history


During dredging works in the River Weser a small wooden wreck was discovered at low tide in April 1963. It was reported to Dr. Siegfried Fliedner and Dr. Rosemarie Pohl-Weber of the Focke Museum (Bremen's municipal history and art museum) who investigated the wreck.

Pohl-Weber 1969

It was decided to salvage the wreck, which was manually moved onto the embankment, after the sand masses were removed by a dredger. This was a rescue operation, as the site was subject to dredging within the framework of a port development scheme. The wreck was made shortly after the spectacular discovery and salvage of the "Bremen Cog" a year before and thus never received the same level of attention, although all involved specialists were already sensitised to wreck-discoveries in the context of dredging operations.

In 1972 a further wreck fragment was discovered not far from this site, which is associated with the same wreck.

The excavators identified the river craft as a type known locally as "eke", which was mentioned frequently in Bremen's toll register of the 14th century. Ekes were distinguished to logboats (enbomene schepe), although (if the identification is indeed correct) an eke would classify as logboat-like vessel.


The hull was assembled by two halved hollowed out tree-trunks (ca. 5 cm in thickness), which formed the sides, as well as a bottom-plank. The vessel was reinforced with frames. The boat was joined together with treenails, while no residues of iron fasteners were observed.

The C14 analysis indicate a date between 1070 and 1240, while a dendrochronogical analysis yielded a date of around 1200.

Length29.5 feet (9 m)
Width4.9 feet (1.5 m)


  • Bishop, D. (2011).
    Archäologische Schiffsfunde im Land Bremen.
    In: U. Halle & C. von Carnap-Bornheim (eds.), Bremen und umzu. Ausflugsziele auf der D√ľne, Geest und in der Marsch 53.
    Stuttgart: Theiss Verlag.
  • Pohl-Weber, R. (1969).
    Die Bremer Eke - Fund eines mittelalterlichen Binnenschiffs.
    Bremisches Jahrbuch 51, 1969, IX.

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