First Ship Since Mary Rose to be Raised from UK Waters

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17th Century Merchant Ship

17th Century Merchant Ship (Source- Wiki commons)

In the first salvage mission of it’s kind since the Mary Rose 30 years ago, UK archaeologists will be raising the wreckage of a 17th century merchant vessel this summer. The wreck is lying in 7 to 9m of water on a sand and shingle bottom on the edge of Hook Sands near Poole Harbour in Dorset. It was first discovered in March 1990 when a dredger hit it but it wasn’t considered a significant site until an assessment for English Heritage in 2005 after which Bournemouth University’s Marine archaeology programme began surveying and recording the wreckage.

The salvage project is a race against time as the sediment which has been protecting the wreckage is quickly eroding away exposing large sections of the wreck to the elements. As well as the threats from surge, tidal streams and storms, as the timbers are exposed they become a form of food for sea life such as Gribbles and Teredo worms.

The more of this wreck that becomes exposed, the more archaeologist are sure of it’s historical significance. The Ship, built over 300 years ago, is constructed to trade out to the tropics, it has several ornate carvings including a male head at the top of the rudder and another on the outside of the forecastle which are in early Baroque style, pottery and canon have also been found.

Unfortunately it will not be possible to bring up the entire wreck this summer so the team will be raising the first 12m of the bow and burying the wrest to protect it from the elements.

Follow this link to see the BBC video of diving the wreck site.

The Mary Rose back on the surface

The Mary Rose back on the surface (Source- Wiki commons)

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published on May 16, 2011 by jason
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