Timbers of Fifteenth-Century Newport Ship Analyzed

Newport Ship TimberNEWPORT, WALES—According to a BBC News report, oxygen isotope dendrochronology analysis of the timbers of a shipwreck discovered in 2002 in the River Usk indicates that the oak trees used in its construction were felled in the winter of 1457–1458. Some 2,500 pieces of wood were recovered from the muddy riverbanks during a construction project. They were then cleaned, conserved, soaked in wax, and freeze-dried. “I wouldn’t have thought that it was possible but this analysis has proved that information is still locked away in those tree rings,” said ship curator Toby Jones. Historic records indicate that the 100-foot vessel was used by wine traders. Its last voyage was from the Iberian Peninsula to Bristol, and then it was moored in Newport for a refit in 1468 or 1469. The ship was lost when its moorings broke and it collapsed into an inlet. “We now know the ship was in existence for not quite a decade,” Jones explained. Previous research has shown that the wood originated in the Basque Country of northern Spain, and that the ship was likely built somewhere along the Basque coast. The information could help researchers identify the vessel, Jones concluded. Read the original scholarly article about this research in International Journal of Nautical Archaeology. To read about Byzantine shipwrecks found in Turkey, go to “The Price of a Warship.”

Source: archaeology.org

Check Also

There is a Strange Deformation in Earth’s Magnetic Field

Recent studies shed light on a peculiar dent in Earth’s magnetic field located above the …

Leave a Reply

Like us and follow us