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Excavation

Date 1995

Event ID 932321

Category Recording

Type Excavation

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/event/932321

NM 748 356 A final season of excavation was completed in advance of the consolidation and protection of the site from erosion. The lower stern structure was identified, including the bottom part of the rudder, sternpost, and associated components. This assembly had become detached from the keel, and along with the upper afterworks had collapsed towards the port side. Subsequent silting had preserved dislocated pieces of the structure and items from the ship's interior. Debris from the hold had accumulated in this area, particularly in the vicinity of the lower stern, and extensive samples of fish and animal bone were recovered for analysis. Pieces of human bone were also found, apparently belonging to the individual whose remains have been found elsewhere on the site. Investigation below the stone ballast revealed that heather had been used to protect the hull timbers. Artefacts recovered include a slipware bowl, an intact clay pipe bearing the heelmark `NW' (indicating a Newcastle origin), and a lidded pewter flagon of Scottish manufacture.

A trench was also opened inshore of the forward end of the wreck to determine the nature of collapse in this area. This showed that structural remains and associated artefacts were less well preserved than towards the stern. Nevertheless a general collapse to port could be postulated, and scattered bricks and tiles from the galley structure were noted. Significant quantities of coal and peat were also recovered from this area. An unexpected find is a complete rotary quern, perhaps suggesting that the troops on board the ship had sustained themselves partly from local resources. Pottery finds include a glazed red earthenware chamber pot and a butter crock - apparently with some of its contents in situ - of similar fabric.

At the close of the season 200 sandbags were added to the 500 already placed over the site to protect it from erosion. A programme of regular monitoring is planned.

Report and archive to be deposited in the NMRS.

Sponsor: HS

C Martin 2003.

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