AN ASSEMBLAGE OF TRADE-ROUTES. Identifying Dutch maritime trade-routes in the early modern period (c. 1500-1750) by researching contemporary shipwreck assemblages

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AN ASSEMBLAGE OF TRADE-ROUTES. Identifying Dutch maritime trade-routes in the early modern period (c. 1500-1750) by researching contemporary shipwreck assemblages

Type: Master thesis
Title: AN ASSEMBLAGE OF TRADE-ROUTES. Identifying Dutch maritime trade-routes in the early modern period (c. 1500-1750) by researching contemporary shipwreck assemblages
Author: Booij, Mike de
Issue Date: 2019
Keywords: Maritime archaeology
Shipwrecks
Early modern
Europe
Dutch
Abstract: The early modern period, spanning from c. 1500-1750 A.D., is a turbulent era for the maritime trade and the maritime landscape as a whole. Developments in shipbuilding techniques and international economics means that already existing trade-routes expand and the rise of intercontinental trade and large conglomerates. The increasing importance of maritime trade is also visible in the archaeological record which shows a steady rise in the amount of shipwrecks during this period. Advances in modern technology and an ever increasing amount of fishing vessels means that these wrecks also get uncovered at a higher rate than ever before. Researching this ever growing amount of maritime archaeological sites with limited means has proven to be a challenge and many ships remain unpublished when they eventually degrade. Furthermore, when ships do get researched they are often treated as single individual sites with an outdated view of what a shipwreck assemblage actually is. Often the intangible aspects and the bigger picture are ignored. This thesis therefore aimed to research the trade-route for a large number of shipwrecks by looking at their assemblage. At the same time, the aim was to research these assemblages as efficiently as possible by using the classification system created by Reinders in the 80’s. The results show that researching trade-routes via shipwreck assemblages gives a much more detailed view of each ship’s trade-route. It is important though to first research each aspect individually to prevent any bias, before combining the results to come to a conclusion. Furthermore, the importance of the intangible aspects of a shipwreck’s assemblage becomes clear during the scope of this thesis as the information gained from this is often even more valuable than that gained from the tangible. The results also show that using the functional classification system created by Reinders makes researching shipwreck assemblages far easier and more efficient. It is even possible to link the categories from this system to specific trade-route identifying features. However, the classification system would benefit further defining its categories.
Supervisor: Oosten, R.M.R. vanManders, M.R.
Faculty: Faculty of Archaeology
Department: Archaeology (Master)
Specialisation: Archaeology of the Roman Provinces, Middle Ages and Modern Period
ECTS Credits: 20
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/69600
 

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