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The Nydam ship was found in 1864 at Nydam, on the German side of the present border between Germany and Denmark. Like the Hjortspring, this was a war offering, but much later, dating to the second half of the 4th century AD (350-399 AD) - rougly contemporary with the 4th-Century Yassiada ship.


This ship is 75 feet long, 10 feet wide, and built entirely of oak. It has a keel plank, and five strakes on either side of it, for a total of 11 strakes. At the bow and stern are a stem and sternpost.

With the exception of the sheer strakes, every plank strake was made out of single piece of wood - up to 50 feet long. It's almost impossible today to find an oak tree with a trunk tall enough to produce such long, single-piece planks.


The overlapping planking strakes were fastened together with iron rivets. The Nydam ship is therefore clinker construction. (Clinker is a specific form of lapstrake construction with the overlapping planks fastened with iron rivets). The planking itself is quite thin, only about 2cm - between 3/4 - 4/5 of an inch.

The frames are very similar to the Hjortspring boat's in construction. Again, the plank is adzed away, leaving raised cleats, with thin frames , and thwarts spanning the ship.

A large steering oar with a very small tiller was found with the ship. It's attachment to the hull isn't quite known. Unlike Mediterranean ships, there is only one steering oar. This continues to be the case in Northern Europe through the whole period until the adoption of the stern rudder.


Also notice that the steering oar is located on the starboard side of the hull... sometimes called the steerboard.

The Nydam ship would have rolled easily and was not designed to be sailed at all. We see that the ship was to be rowed by the presence of a large number of tholes on the sheer strake. it was probably designed for use on inland waterways, and in fact a punting pole was found with the vessel, used for pushing the ship along in shallow water.