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stepping stones of maritime history


Historical Description

After arriving in Batavia in July, 1667, Wapen van Amsterdam left to make it's return journey to it's home berth in Amsterdam with a convoy of nine ships. A record of the total cargo of the nine ships combined still exists, showing that Wapen van Amsterdam was most likely carrying a cargo of various spices, cloth, wood, and dyes. In September, the convoy was off the coast of Iceland, making it's way west of the British Isles in order to sail to the Netherlands through the North Sea, when it was beset by a violent storm. After drifting away from the rest of the convoy and fighting the storm for two days, Wapen van Amsterdam ran aground on a beach in southern Iceland. 14 men survived the wreck.

Archaeological Description

The wreck of Wapen van Amsterdam was visible on the beach of Iceland for ninety years before it was buried beneath the shifting sands. In the 1960's, a group of Icelanders undertook a search for the wreck site, which resulted in a magnetic anomaly as well as samples of wood and iron, however further excavation attempts were not made. The wreck site lies under approximately 11-12 meters of sand between the deltas of both the Skeibara and Skaftafellsa rivers.



Large, heavily armed, East Indiaman, built in Amsterdam in 1653 for the VOC Chamber of Amsterdam.

Skipper: Reinier Brinkmans (final voyage)

Length: 147 ft

Beam: 35 ft

Depth of cargo hold: 12 ft

Armament: 35-40 cannons

Crew and passengers: 200-250

Deadweight tonnage: 460 load (920 tonnes)


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