Shipwreck: F53.26 West B

Shipwreck: F53.26
Name: West B
Vessel: merchant ship
Construction period: XVII century
Depth of occurrence: 4
Discovered: 2010
Start of research: 2010

Shipwreck photos


Site description

The F53.26 West B wreck constitutes the remains of a sailing ship with carvel planking (staves laid edge to edge) built from pine and oak wood in the 1st half of the 17th century. The identified object is approx. 10 meters long and 3 meters wide. The actual length of the wreck is bigger due to the fact that a part of the structure lies in the sandy seabed. The identified structure is comprised of pine staves of planking laid edge to edge, staves of inside planking and oak floor timbers placed at 16 – 20 cm intervals. Another identified element is a keelson with a mast step, 25 cm long and 14 cm wide.

The wreck is filled with sandstones which most probably represent pre-manufactured elements of querns, with diameters ranging from 40 to 130 cm. Due to the sand analyses conducted in 2011 by Piotr Woźniak, PhD, it has been determined that it is Cambrian quartzite sandstone – the hardest type of sandstone found in Scandinavia and Northern Europe. In 2017, lead casts with characteristic heart-shaped escutcheons were discovered on the wreck. Most probably, the casts come from the Olkusz - Kraków deposits in Southern Poland and were loaded onto the vessel in the port of Gdańsk.

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Circumstances of the discovery

The wreck was discovered in 2010 by the staff of the Maritime Measurement Department of the Maritime Office in Gdynia. Sonar images were processed by Jacek Koszałka, a category A hydrographer.

Location

The object lies at a depth of 4.5 meters within a small distance from the shore, in the Westerplatte area. It is located only 11 metres to the north-west of the F53.18 West A wreck. The two wrecks represent the remains of different vessels, their structures and chronologies are different.

Course of research

Identification research works were conducted on the object by the NMM archaeologists in 2010 and 2011. In 2017, the NMM research team performed a detailed cataloguing of the site.

Chronology

The vessel was built from pine and oak wood, most likely in the 1630s.

Artefacts from the shipwreck

The total number of 26 artefacts were recovered from the F53.26 wreck, for instance, ceramic tubes of various sizes, fragments of ceramic ware, a barrel stave, a wedge-shaped sandstone, an oblong sandstone, two round sandstones, 7 lead casts with heart-shaped merchant’s marks and a wooden stick with a copper ferrule. Proximity to the shore and high dynamics of the seabed in this area cause an uncertainty about the original affiliation of some artefacts to the wreck as they could be of foreign origin.

    Research photos


    • Narodowe Muzeum Morskie w Gdańsku
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    • śladami średniowiecznych wraków

    The "Gulf of Gdańsk Shipwreck Virtual Open-Air Museum" website (www.wsw.nmm.pl) has been created under the "Gulf of Gdańsk Shipwreck Virtual Open-Air Museum. Recording and Inventory of Underwater Archaeological Heritage" scientific research project, co-financed with the funds from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.