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stepping stones of maritime history


During excavations of the medieval port on the Linge in Tiel Tol-Zuid, shipwood was found in 1996.

The shipwood was reused as a revetment. It consists of fragments of the bottom and a part of a board. The fragments come from a barge whose timber was felled after around 980 AD.

It was reused already in quay  bank that was dated to 985.  The Tiel 2 was in use only 5 years. 

 These types of river barges are specially built and are ideally suited for sailing and maneuvering on shallow, slow-flowing rivers. Cattle, goods and carts could be transported with the boats.


Length max: 20 m

The boards and trusses  are made of oak. The planks are at least 8 m long. Pin-hole connections were used for assembly. Through the ship's skin and the truss a hole was drilled with an auger (medieval spoon drill) in which a round wooden pin was struck.  The ship has a flat bottom and a raised board of possibly 1 m height. The draft was very small because of the surface.

The ship of the oldest revetment was made watertight by putting moss between the seams of the boards. This moss is sealed with moss slats. These slats were made from long twigs cut along the length. These slats were held in place with small wooden wedges, 2 cm long, the so-called 'pricks'.


  • W. Brouwers/E. Jansma/M. Manders (2015).
    Middeleeuwse scheepsresten in Nederland, De vroege middeleeuwen 500-1050.
    Archeobrief, 3.
  • Navis ship project.

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