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A Cog-Like Vessel from the Netherlands

Alydis van de Moortel
Thesis: December 1987
Chair: Steffy
Nautical Archaeology Program

The meticulous excavation of a small, well-preserved shipwreck in lot NZ43 of the reclaimed Zuyderzee polders, the Netherlands, has provided a wealth of new data on late-medieval shipbuilding. The wreck is of a small local craft that shares many characteristics with cogs, the leading seagoing vessels of northern Europe at the time. This study represents the first in-depth analysis of the actual remains of a cog-like vessel. The wreck has provided concrete new information, not only of construction features, but also of hull design and sailing qualities of cogs. The vessel is extremely well-built and bears witness of several techniques known previously only from 17th-century Dutch sources. The construction also reflects socio-economic conditions of the time. As such, this small wreck from lot NZ43 constitutes an invaluable source for understanding the history of northern European shipbuilding techniques in the late Middle Ages.

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