Day 5: Last day of our research on the OVM12

Today was the last day of our research on the OVM12 (Oostvoornse meer 12), next week we will be going to the OVM10. We’d like to share our first findings and first (preliminary) interpretation of the ship.

There are two parts of the ship. Both are parts of the same board. Due to the fact that in the southern part we see the start of what may be the bow of the ship we believe both are part of the portside of the ship. Visible are two decks, at least the hanging knees, parts of the deck beams as well as the waterway and the first pinewood deck planks.

The measurements that we took of the ship elements show that the ship had been heavily built. The outer planking is approximately 10 cm thick and the ceiling another 8 centimeter. The frames are, compared to the planking ‘only’, 16 cm thick.  The knees are close to each other and are connected to the ship and deckbeams with iron bolts . Other parts of the construction are joined together with wooden treenails, as is quite normal for Dutch ships. We don’t think it was a warship because we didn’t find any gunports, we think it is more likely a trading ship.

One of the knees with iron bolt
One of the knees with iron bolt.

In what we believe could be the bow, we see heavy curved frames, but also the place where a windlass was fixed to the board. This is also the place where we found an enormous amount of rope. Was this the spare rigging?

The place where the windlass was fixed to the board
The place where the windlass was fixed to the board.
An enormous amount of rope is found at what we believe could be the bow
An enormous amount of rope is found at what we believe could be the bow.

At some places on the ship there are traces of fire on the ceiling, frames and the outer planking. This is on the highest parts of the boards and from the inside out. Was this the reason for the sinking of the ship? A fire on board?

No cargo has been found. We found some leather shoes and a piece of leather of which we don’t yet know what it was for. We have also found a barrel stave. If we can date the stave it can tell us something about the time the ship was wrecked.

Part of the barrel stave
Part of the barrel stave.

Quite a lot of dendrochronological samples have been taken, which can be used for dating the ship. The dendro samples have been taken from different parts of the ship.

Sawing the wood for the dendro sample
Sawing the wood for the dendro sample.

These are just our preliminary findings, because we have recorded the site digitally using photogrammetry we can virtually ‘go back’ to the ship, which can help us to answer the questions we have.

We will keep you informed through

Robert de Hoop (intern Maritime Program)
Martijn Manders (Head of the Maritime Program)

Over Maritiem Programma

Het Maritiem Programma van de Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed houdt zich bezig met het onderzoek naar scheepswrakken, bruggen, havens en andere maritieme landschappen. Het doel is om kennis, onderzoek, beleid, samenwerking en educatie op het gebied van maritiem erfgoed in Nederland een stevige basis te geven. Het programma loopt van 2012 tot en met 2015.

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