Last modified:
14 Dec 2001

Site description of the Avondster's galley, 1997

Dredging around the galley in 1997 revealed lead all around the bricks. The wall on the south side descends below the floor for at least another metre. East of the galley, other broken parts of a wall were found. The brick floor comprises one layer of standing brick. Underneath, a hard mortar was found. Commonly on Dutch ships, the space between the bricks and the lead or copper sheathing on the floor was filled with a mixture of sand and salt, to insulate the hearth from the inflammable wooden decks. At the edges of the floor there is a thin layer of lead. At several spots, traces of wooden construction were found.

The dimensions are roughly 1.90m N-S, 1.50m W-E, with a diameter of 1.75m. The middle of the floor contains traces of the fireplace; around this are iron concretions of possible equipment or fastenings.

Remains of the walls are scattered over a large area. One piece is still in place: about 1.65-1.80m long and 4-500mm wide, with a height on the east side of 550mm. There are several concretions stuck to the floor and the wall, which may be remains of fittings for cooking pots.

Excavation started from the northeast to the south. On the east side, several pieces of brickwork and the wooden construction of the collapsed wall, together with torn-off lead sheets, show how the wall collapsed. The south-east corner of the wall slopes down into the seabed; the foot of the wall is 1.42m from the top of the standing wall. The construction of the wall in this corner is still obscure. The wall seems to go deeper than the level of the brick floor. From the top of the wall along the outside is 1470 mm, while the distance from the top to the floor at the inside is 950 mm.

The excavation along the south side of the galley revealed traces of a collapsed wall in the southwest corner. At this point a deck beam was found, coming from underneath the galley and running S-N. The beam is 350mm thick. Following the beam northwards, a broken knee was found at the ship’s wall, and next to it an open barrel with a diameter of 650mm. Survey around the barrel revealed a copper object and a musket ball.

On the west side, the edge of the lead going under the floor was found 230 mm from the top of the floor. Underneath, softwood planking was found. The lead flaps of which the box is made are 410 mm wide. A complete barrel was found to one side, and left in place.

The north side was scattered with concretions, with signs of a wooden wall 20mm thick. Next to the galley, a brick was found with clear marks of an iron fitting, possibly a hinge for a door or hatch.

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