Arade 1 Shipwreck

As mentioned above, all we know about the 1970 Arade 1 shipwreck we learned from the reports, pictures and sketches produced by the CPAS and FPAS teams.  Fortunately for us, these teams were composed of passionate and skilled divers.  Their attitude towards the archaeological remains was very professional, and the ship remains were recorded in a non-intrusive fashion.

The report issued by CPAS was signed by civil engineer, archaeologist, and sport diver Jose Farrajota, and contained a detailed description of the shipwreck with two sketches and a scantling list.  Further documents in CPAS archives contained important data, such as the portions of the shipwreck represented in each one of the nineteen pictures taken, or a map with the precise location of the Arade 1 shipwreck from alignments taken on the coast.

The information gathered by the team from FPAS was also very important.  Mr. Helder Mendes is an historian, journalist, and television director who filmed a series of over 50 documentaries about the sea in the 1960s and 1970s - under the titles Segredos do mar, and  A terra, o mar e a gente.

Jorge Albuquerque, an architect and a pioneer of sport diving in Portugal, was the author of the two sketches in Mr. Farrajota's report (Figs. 18 and 19).  In these sketches the Arade 1 vessel shows a full, flush laid hull, with a small keel and a large keelson, or a large mast step.

The pictures show a shipwreck built with flush laid planks fastened with treenails to the frames.  On top of the upper ceiling strake there is a row of filler pieces in between the frames.  These filler pieces are rounded on the inner edges, forming a smooth 90° curve, flush with the ceiling.  This curve is continued between the filler pieces by smaller curves, which are propped against the inner face of the futtocks (Fig. 23).

This report describes the Arade 1 shipwreck hanging from the upper part of the embankment created by the dredging works, and filled with 1 to 1.5 m of sediment.  The frames were 13 x 16 cm in section, the room and space between 16 and 35 cm.  The hull planking was 5 cm thick and varied between 25 and 34 cm in width.  The ceiling covered both the lower part of the hull, and its sides - the sketch showing no stringers - and was terminated with a series of filler pieces that closed the room between futtocks, as shown in FPAS' pictures (Figs. 19 and 23).

As already mentioned above, there was a large keelson - or mast step - preserved at least along 5 m.  It was surmounted a rather small keel in the sketch by Mr. Albuquerque.  According to the report a large part of the ship was torn apart by the dredge and laid scattered on the seabed.  It is possible that the falling sediment quickly covered this part of the ship during the following weeks, as the embankment, originally cut at a 1/6 inclination, re-arranged itself into a more stable slope.

 

Fig. 25 - Arq. Albuquerque's sketch of the shipwreck. [1]

 

A wood sample taken by Mr. Helder Mendes was sent to Groningen, in the Netherlands, and was dated by radiocarbon to the 13th century.  As this date is not calibrated, and we do not know exactly where the wood sample was taken, this date must be taken very carefully.

 

Fig. 26 - Arq. Albuquerque's sketch of the supposed keelson. [2]

 

Fig. 27 - Detail of the fillers between futtocks. [3]

 

Fig. 28 - Detail of the futtocks. [4]

 

Fig. 29 - Base of a frame. [5]

 

Fig. 30 - The same frame. [6]

 

Another sample - probably from the planking - was sent by Mr. Farrajota to Laboratorio Nacional de Engenharia Civil, for species identification, and was found to be from a tree of the oak family (Quercus sp.).

The pictures taken by the FPAS team show a very interesting feature.  It seems that the upper ceiling strake is a stringer, thicker than the one that lies below it (Fig.30).

 

Fig. 31 - Top of the hull preserved in 1970. [7]

 

Fig. 32 - Top of the ceiling planking and filler pieces. [8]

 

The pictures taken by the CPAS team were given to us by Dr. Margarita Farrajota, the director of that diving club.  She is the daughter of Engineer José Farrajota, who led the 1970 official survey, and took part in it.  Dr. Farrajota kindly let me see her notes, taken at the time.  She also took on the work of assigning captions to each one of the 18 pictures lent to us, based upon her notes and sketches, placing them on the hull remains as they were seen at the time.

 
 

Fig. 33 - Detail of the frames and hull.  [9]

 

Fig. 34 - Frames lying on the northern area. [10]

 

Fig. 35 - Maststep broken through the mortise.  Below sits a frame.  On the left side we can see a ceiling plank.  [11]

 

Fig. 36 - Detail of the frame shown on Fig. 33.  Picture taken from the below.  Northern side of the shipwreck. [12]

 

Fig. 37 - Frames showing the treenails, which fastened them to the hull planks. [13]

 

Fig. 38 - Jorge Albuquerque measuring and sketching the southern side of the hull. [14]

 

Fig. 39 - Dunnage covering the maststep and ceiling (on the north side) still covered by sediments. [15]

 

Fig. 40 - Same area after removal of the sediment.  A mat covered the dunnage. [16]

Fig. 41 - Dunnage covered by a mat lying over the ceiling planking on the south side of the hull. [17]

 

Fig. 42 - Same area.  Picture taken from a different angle. [18]

 

Fig. 43 - Same area.  Picture taken from a different angle.  To the right we can see the ceiling planks. [19]

 

Fig. 44 - Same area.  Picture taken from a different angle.  To the right we can see the ceiling planks.  [20]

 

Fig. 45 - Margarida Farrajota observing the upper end of the futtocks.  [21]

 

Fig. 46 - Northern side of the hull.  [22]

 

Fig. 47 - Margarida Farrajota measuring a frame.  [23]

 

Fig. 48 - Diver measuring the northern side of the hull remains.  [24]

 

Fig. 49 - Frame measuring 18 x 18 cm on the south side of the hull remains.  [25]

 

Fig. 50 - Diver measuring the lower side of the hull remains.  [26]

 



[1] Report from C.P.A.S., a diving club founded by Arq. Albuquerque.  CNANS' archives.

[2] Report from CPAS, a diving club founded by Mr. Albuquerque.  CNANS' archives.

[3] Photo: Ricardo Costa (CNANS archives).

[4] Photo: Ricardo Costa (CNANS archives).

[5] Photo: Ricardo Costa (CNANS archives).

[6] Photo: Ricardo Costa (CNANS archives).

[7] Photo: Ricardo Costa (CNANS archives).

[8] Photo: Ricardo Costa (CNANS archives).

[9] Photo: Fernando Pina (CPAS archives).

[10] Photo: Fernando Pina (CPAS archives).

[11] Photo: Fernando Pina (CPAS archives).

[12] Photo: Fernando Pina (CPAS archives).

[13] Photo: Fernando Pina (CPAS archives).

[14] Photo: Fernando Pina (CPAS archives).

[15] Photo: Fernando Pina (CPAS archives).

[16] Photo: Fernando Pina (CPAS archives).

[17] Photo: Fernando Pina (CPAS archives).

[18] Photo: Fernando Pina (CPAS archives).

[19] Photo: Fernando Pina (CPAS archives).

[20] Photo: Fernando Pina (CPAS archives).

[21] Photo: Jorge Albuquerque (CPAS archives).

[22] Photo: Jorge Albuquerque (CPAS archives).

[23] Photo: Jorge Albuquerque (CPAS archives).

[24] Photo: Jorge Albuquerque (CPAS archives).

[25] Photo: Jorge Albuquerque (CPAS archives).

[26] Photo: Jorge Albuquerque (CPAS archives).