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Beautiful artifacts recovered from the Schiedam wreck

Patience is a unique virtue that can adequately reward time spent waiting. Marine archaeologist David Gibbins found that out the hard way when he waited three years for the right conditions to recover sunken artefacts from the wreck of the Schiedam. In September, over the course of eight dives, David Gibbins and his team managed
Published: November 30, 2020 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 21:38
Beautiful artifacts recovered from the Schiedam wreck

Patience is a unique virtue that can adequately reward time spent waiting. Marine archaeologist David Gibbins found that out the hard way when he waited three years for the right conditions to recover sunken artefacts from the wreck of the Schiedam.

In September, over the course of eight dives, David Gibbins and his team managed to find and retrieve three 25kg bronze merchant weights from the wreck, believed to date back to the 16th century. The artefacts were found on the wreck of a 17th century Dutch merchant ship that went down in 1684, in the coastal waters of Cornwall, near the village of Gunwalloe.

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Weights found on the wreck of the Schiedam The wreck itself was known much earlier as it was discovered by Anthony Randall in 1971 and two years later, in 1973, it was protected under the Protection of Wrecks Act. Since 2016 it has been explored by an archaeological team led by David Gibbins and Mark Milburn of Atlantic Scuba, who are operating under licence from Historic England.

ornaments on weights recovered from the wreck of the Schiedam As the happy discoverer explained to the media, the excavated weights arouse great interest among experts in the subject and stand out among other weights that have survived to our times. It is mainly about their age, size and design. The weights are also some of the oldest and most unusual artefacts to have been recovered from shipwrecks off the coast of Cornwall.

The distinctive feature that immediately catches the eye is certainly the Portuguese royal coat of arms cast on the side, consisting of a shield topped by a helmet and a dragon crest, surrounded by cannonballs. Other markings visible on the weights are small ship symbols stamped above and below the coat of arms.

Artifacts recovered from the Schiedam wreck Cornwall All artefacts have been reported to the relevant institutions and are currently being conserved in preparation for their inclusion in the museum’s exhibition.

You can read a more detailed report on homepage David Gibbins.

Photo: David Gibbins, Rachel Hipperson

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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