Port-Berteau II (ca. 600)

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This wreck was found upside-down with the entire bottom missing in the Charente River, 65 km from the sea. It was a coastal freighter. Wales have rounded outer surfaces, but no mention of bark. Common planking separated the wales; the arrangement was reminiscent of Yassiada 7. Strake seams were caulked with vegetable oakum—mainly moss—that was driven from the outside. Strakes were treenailed to frames but were nailed into the stem and sternpost rabbets. There were five through-beams (14 cm square) whose ends protruded a short distance from each side of the hull. They were notched into the planks. A sixth through beam extends 1.65 m from the sides of the stern; it was used for steering. There are short, raised decks at each end of the hull. Wood was axed and adzed only; no saw marks were observed. The hull has been reconstructed to show a broad but shallow cargo hold, sharply incurving ends that are slightly raised and decked. A single 53 cubic meter squaresail is believed to have been mounted on a mast stepped near amidships. 1


1. Richard Steffy, INA Shipdata Project, Texas A&M University.

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