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Wreck of Dutch trading ship off British coast explored by divers


Over the next two weeks (5 September-15 September) Dutch and British maritime archaeologists will be carrying out a joint diving expedition at the Rooswijk wreck site off the coast of Britain. The Dutch East Indiaman (VOC) ship sank on the Goodwin Sands in Kent in January 1740 with a large cargo of silver ingots and coinage on board.

Wreck of Dutch trading ship off British coast explored by divers
A drawing of a ship similar to the Rooswijk – a Dutch ‘hekboot’, by Adolf van der Laan in 1716 
[Credit: © Collection of the Fries Scheepvaartmuseum]
The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands and Historic England will be working with the original archaeological dive team that partly excavated the Rooswijk in 2005 and the licensee to carry out a detailed survey of the wreck that lies partly buried in sediment.

Archaeologists want to gain a better understanding of the Rooswijk wreck site, the ship’s design and the state of preservation of the materials on the seabed in situ. This will help with the future management of the site and depending on what is discovered there, will possibly lead to a further larger excavation.


Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with our Dutch colleagues and the original archaeological team on this important site. Wrecks such as the Rooswijk are part of the shared cultural maritime heritage across Europe and it is important that cultural heritage agencies are able to work together to ensure that sites such as these are protected, researched, understood and appreciated by all.”

Earlier this year a geophyical survey was conducted, using a variety of techniques designed to allow archaeologists to build up a picture of the Rooswijk's current exposure and buried remains before they visit.

Wreck of Dutch trading ship off British coast explored by divers
Spanish coins found in the Rooswijk wreck from 2005 [Credit: © Collection of the Zeeuws maritiem muZEEum]
The Rooswijk is a protected wreck site which is also on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register, which is a list of the sites most at risk and most in need of safeguarding for the future.

The wreck site is threatened for several reasons including Earlier this year a geophysical survey was conducted, using a variety of techniques designed to allow archaeologists to build up a picture of the Rooswijk’s current exposure and buried remains before they visit.

Source: Historic England [Deptember 07, 2016]
TANN

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