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Dover Bronze Age Boat

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Title: Dover Bronze Age Boat  
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Subject: Ships preserved in museums, Ferriby Boats, Dover Museum, Hanson Log Boat, History of Dover
Collection: Ancient Boats, Bronze Age Britain, History of Dover, Kent, Ships Preserved in Museums
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Dover Bronze Age Boat

Dover Bronze Age Boat at Dover Museum
Dover Bronze Age Boat at Dover Museum

Dover Bronze Age boat is one of fewer than 20 Bronze Age boats so far found in Britain. It dates to 1575–1520 BCE. The boat was made using oak planks sewn together with yew lashings. This technique has a long tradition of use in British prehistory; the oldest known examples are from Ferriby in east Yorkshire. It is currently on display at Dover Museum.

Contents

  • Discovery and excavation 1
  • Oldest sea-going boat? 2
  • Size 3
  • Materials 4
  • Conservation and re-assembly 5
  • Award-winning display 6
  • Reconstructions 7
    • Section 7.1
    • Half-size reproduction 7.2
  • See also 8
  • Notes 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Discovery and excavation

On 28 September 1992, construction workers from Norwest Holst (who were building the new A20 road link between Folkestone and Dover), working alongside archaeologists from the Canterbury Archaeological Trust, uncovered what remained of a large prehistoric boat thought to be 3,500 years old. This would place its origin around 1500 BC, in the Middle Bronze Age in England.

The boat was buried under a road and the burial site stretched out towards buildings. It was decided that it would be too dangerous to dig too near the buildings, so an unknown length of the boat has had to be left under the ground.

Previous attempts to remove such boats whole have been unsuccessful, so it was decided to cut the boat into sections and remove it and reassemble it afterwards.

After nearly a month of excavation 9.5 metres of the boat was eventually recovered. Depending on different views of the true size of the complete boat this 9.5 metres could be up to two thirds of the full size of the boat.

Oldest sea-going boat?

The Dour leads staight into the English Channel, so speculation has been made ever since its discovery about whether the Dover boat went to sea and sailed to the Continent. There is plenty of evidence that there was cross-Channel communication, but it is not known what kind of boats actually sailed across. Keith Miller, a regional achaeologist told the BBC that the older Ferriby Boats would have been used to cross the North Sea[1] and certainly the Ferriby Heritage Trust describe Ferriby Boat 3 as Europe's first known seacraft.[2] The BBC television programme Operation Stonehenge: What Lies Beneath Pt 2, broadcast on BBC Two in September 2014, describes the boat as seagoing and describes the tons of cargo it could have taken across the Channel. However, The Dover Museum consider that the Dover Bronze Age Boat is the oldest seagoing boat known, at only 1550 BC.[3] They are backed by the Time Team Special, broadcast in September 2014 on UK Channel 4, which stated that to be a proper sea-going, cross-channel vessel the boat would have to have the curved 'rocker' bottom and the (unproven) pointed bow that only the more modern Dover boat possesses. Confusingly, the Oakleaf reproduction of the Ferriby boats was given a pointed bow and the Ferriby boats are described as having curved rocker bottoms, which sounds much the same as the Dover boat.

Size

As part of the boat remains underground and there is no proof of the boat's overall shape and size, much speculation as to its total length and its shape has been made. The museum shows suggestions, but the boat could easily be little more than has been removed from the ground, or perhaps many metres longer.

The width of the boat is significant, being around 2 Metres wide it is much wider than dugout canoes of the time and can easily seat two people next to each other. It is wider than the Ferriby boats, for example.

Materials

The boat was constructed of oak planks, stitched together with yew withies and also fixed together with wooden wedges.[4] This makes it similar to the Ferriby boats, which are also stitched planks. It is, however, quite different to the Must Farm dugouts, which are not only dug out of one trunk, but the smaller, lightweight ones are made of lighter linden trunks.[5]

Conservation and re-assembly

Whilst in the ground the boat was significantly protected from being destroyed by waterlogging and a cover of silt which protected it from bacteria. After being removed from the ground the boat was kept in a waterlogged state at the Mary Rose Trust at Portsmouth. After a long process of preservation the boat returned to Dover Museum to be re-assembled in 1998.

Award-winning display

The boat is displayed in a glass case as the centrepiece of a whole floor in the museum devoted to archeology. With the boat itself is a modern reconstruction of a section of the boat, to assist in the visitors interpretation of the boat itself. The display won an award in 2000 for archeological display.

Reconstructions

Section

First, a full-size three-metre section of the boat was built, experimenting with techniques etc. This is also housed in the Dover Museum with the original.

Half-size reproduction

Then a half-size reconstruction of the Dover Boat was completed in Dover in 2012. Hopes to launch it at the time failed when the boat immediately shipped a lot of water, but the boat has nevertheless been touring around the Channel area in different countries and plans are well on their way to improve its seaworthyness.[6]

The boat, initially named BC 1550 has since been officially named after one of its builders, Ole Crumlin-Pederson.[7]

As of 2014, the boat has now been sailed out from Dover Harbour and was filmed for a Time Team Special for the UK Channel 4.

See also

  • Ferriby Boats – comparable Bronze Age boats from Northern England

Notes


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local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p
  1. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1234529.stm
  2. ^ http://www.ferribyboats.co.uk/ retrieved 19 September 2014
  3. ^ http://www.dovermuseum.co.uk/Bronze-Age-Boat/Bronze-Age-Boat.aspx retrieved 19 September 2014
  4. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/KqztJvaeRsiZdlDXMAqAEA
  5. ^ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/dug-out-canoes-found-in-record-haul-in-cambridgeshire-were-bronze-age-britons-runabouts-of-choice-say-archaeologists-8643022.html
  6. ^ http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/news/newsrelease.asp?newsPk=1967
  7. ^ http://www.kentonline.co.uk/deal/news/bronze-age-boat-replica-fails-to-a64485/

References

  • Clark, P. 2004. The Dover Bronze Age Boat. Swindon: English Heritage.

External links

  • Dover Museum's website about the discovery, excavation, preservation and display of the boat
  • Article describing story of discovery and extraction of boat in Archaeology magazine
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