A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Medieval Shipwreck Discovered Off the Coast of England
Monday, July 25, 2022
POOLE, ENGLAND—According to a statement released by Bournemouth University, a shipwreck dated to the thirteenth century through tree ring analysis of wood in the hull has been uncovered in Poole Bay, which is located off the coast of southwest England. The rare wreckage was spotted after a storm by a local charter boat skipper. Maritime archaeologist Tom Cousins explained that the combination of low-oxygenated water, sand, and stones helped to preserve one side of the clinker, a type of vessel constructed with overlapping planks of wood. This vessel, constructed with oak grown in Ireland, carried a cargo of Purbeck stone, which comes from Dorset’s Isle of Purbeck. This type of stone, which can be highly polished, was used in Gothic architecture in Britain and continental Europe. A cauldron for cooking, large Purbeck stones for grinding grain, and Purbeck gravestone slabs were also recovered. One of the gravestones was engraved with a wheel-headed cross in early thirteenth-century style, while the other had a splayed arm cross, which was popular in the mid-thirteenth century. It had not been known that the two styles were in use at the same time, said Brian and Moira Gittos of the Church Monuments Society. The gravestones are thought to have been carved at a local quarry or workshop. To read about the crew of an English warship that sank in 1545, go to "Tudor Travelers."
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