Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries 4-1 (October 2012)Joep Verweij; Wouter Waldus; André van Holk: Continuity and change in Dutch shipbuilding in the Early Modern period. The case of VAL7 and the watership in general.


1. The watership was lifted from the river bottom by ADC ArcheoProjecten in close cooperation with Periplus Archeomare, specialized in hydrographic and marine archaeological survey and data processing, and Subcom, a provider of subsea services. ADC ArcheoProjecten is one of the largest companies in The Netherlands engaged in archaeological research and consultancy, and the first to add maritime archaeology to its list of specialties.

2. Wreck designation numbers refer to the location where a wreck is found. VAL7 means Vaarweg Amsterdam-Lemmer (Sailing route from Amsterdam to Lemmer) segment number 7. The designations listed in tables 1 and 2 refer to wreck locations in the land, reclaimed from the Zuiderzee.

3. Article in the Dutch newspaper NRC handelsblad dated 10 September 2009 reporting on the excavation of the VAL7 shipwreck.

4. The programme of the Dutch organization for scientific research (NWO) funded the project Fish and Fortune (The watership floating fishpond and tugboat & the prosperity of Holland in the sixteenth and seventeenth century). In this project all the available archaeological watership data was gathered for analysis purposes. This data is stored in the maritime archaeology archive of the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency located in Lelystad. Project manager Prof. Van Holk kindly made the dataset available for a master thesis and subsequently for this paper.

5. All measurements involving length have been taken at keel level, since it is only the lower part of a wreck that is generally found. The sample size is too small to be statistically significant. Nevertheless there is a central tendency in the measurements, represented in the tables by the middle number in a range of measured numbers. The implied variability is interpreted to be the result of two factors, i.e. measurement inaccuracy and variability in shipbuilding. Standardisation and industrialisation in shipbuilding occurs after the construction date of the wrecks listed in the tables, therefore no two ships are exactly the same. The term first bulkhead refers to the most forward bulkhead in a ship.

6. Today scholars define the term carvel ship only to mean a ship with a flush hull, not necessarily pre-designed. So the construction of carvel ships may have been based on the frame first approach (pre-designed hull) as well as on the shell first approach without a pre design stage.

7. Nicolaes Witsen (1641- 1717) was mayor of Amsterdam, East India Company administrator, ambassador, cartographer, maritime writer, and an authority on shipbuilding. His standard work on Dutch shipbuilding in the seventeenth century is called "Aeloude and hedendaegsche Scheepsbouw en Bestier". It was published in 1671.

8. The seventeenth century ship carpenter Cornelis van Yk made a career as Master shipwright in Delfs„haven (today part of Rotterdam). He wrote a book in 1697 on shipbuilding named De Nederlandsche Scheeps-Bouw-Konst open gestelt.