In recent years historical shipwrecks in the intertidal zone have become exposed at a perceivably higher rate on a global scale. The wrecks are exposed by coastal erosion and storms, which effects are exacerbated by climate change. Some of the wrecks have been preserved to a stunning degree, enduring the centuries like 'time-capsules'. This applies to cases where the hull was entirely covered by the sediment, acting as a natural protection against marine borers and keeping the site in a permanently waterlogged state. However, once the sediment layer is washed away, the deterioration process begins, often at a dramatic pace. This poses a great challenge to heritage protection authorities, as neither the methods of terrestrial nor underwater archaeology can be fully applied in this difficult terrain. Moreover, the identity of many of those wrecks is unknown. Archival research takes time and once the identity and historical significance has been established, the wreck itself may have already been destroyed by the forces of nature. For this reason, the conference shall provide a forum for maritime archaeologists, historians, geologists and museologists to exchange their experiences and best-practice examples in dealing with this great challenge.
The keynote speech on November 18 is open to the public and can be attended without registration. The conference on November 19 - 20 is a closed event with no in-person auditorium. However, it can be followed remotely via a livestream on this website.
Please note that the programme is subject to change
The public keynote speech by Dr. Jerzy Gawronski is open to the public. He will talk about the shipwreck of the AMSTERDAM, a Dutch East Indiaman foundered off the British coast near Hastings in 1749. The wreck has been known for a very long time, but it was not before 1969 that it was identified as the AMSTERDAM. Preliminary archaeological investigations in the early 1980's have revealed a very rich find assemblage. In the near future, the entire wreck shall be salvaged and brought back to its eponymous port of origin, where the wreck shall be displayed in a museum. This wreck is an interesting long-term example and showcases the potential of well preserved shipwrecks in the intertidal zone, thus a fitting subject for a keynote lecture.
Welcome address by the conference organisers and supporters
A transfer will be organised from the IMMH to the Port Museum.
Shipwreck Archaeology in the intertidal zone:
• circumstances and timeline of discovery
• type and history of the studied wrecks
• field methodology in challenging conditions
• environmental and anthropogenic threats
• long-term monitoring, wrecksite formation, coastal erosion
• shipwrecks and the public: looting threat, sightseeing, volunteers, conservation and museums
Stranded ships and the historical narrative:
• the law and the sea: ship-scrapping , beachcombing, piracy
• the economy of wrecks: wrecking shares, insurances, salvaged goods, re-use
• the local community and memoryscapes (e.g. cemeteries, chronicles of accidents and loss of life, saved crews, narratives, local myths)
• flotsam and jetsam in the museum: what is a wreck, what is scrap?
CITiZAN: shipwrecks and smartphones, the rapid recording of vessels in the intertidal zone by ANDY SHERMAN
Preservation, Public Interaction, and the Brookhill wreck in Baton Rouge. Louisiana, U.S. by CHARLES MCGIMSEY
Towards a Coastal History of Wrecking in the North Sea: legality and cultural practice of British ‘wreckers’ in the 18th century by DAISY TURNBULL
Shipwreck in Medieval and Early Modern Times: On the history of maritime risk-taking conserved in language, written tradition and objects by GABRIEL ZEILINGER
Now You See It/ Now You Don’t: Management of the Buster Shipwreck at Woolgoolga, NSW by BRAD DUNCAN
Docking the Amsterdam (1749). Public archaeology of an intertidal Dutch East Indiaman by JERZY GAWRONSKI
Musealization of rare and clandestine textiles from Texel’s Palmwood Wreck by CORINA HORDIJK & ALEC EWING
Early commercial wreck-diving on the west coast of Denmark 1838-1938 by CHRISTOPHER JACOB RIES
‘Skeletons of Foundered Ships:’ Beached Shipwrecks of St. Augustine, Florida, America’s Oldest Port by CHUCK MEIDE
The Riddle of the Shifting Sands: The historic shipwrecks of the North Frisian Wadden Sea exposed by coastal erosion by DANIEL ZWICK
The inter-tidal shipwrecks of Wales: Challenges and Opportunities by JULIAN WHITEWRIGHT
Brief Encounters – Wreck Investigations in the Inter-Tidal Zone of Lower Saxony’s Wadden Sea 2006 – 2019 by MICHAEL WESEMANN
Secret in the Sands: The discovery of wooden wreck remains on the island of Fuday, Sound of Barra, Outer Hebrides, Scotland by DAN ATKINSON
The CHERISH project: Investigating the impacts of climate change on intertidal wrecks by ROBERT SHAW
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (France): The Archipelago of Shipwrecks, from Myth to Study by CÉCILE SAUVAGE
Neither Hero nor Victim: Intertidal Shipwrecks and Responses of Coastal Communities in 19th Century Britain by CATHRYN PEARCE
Removing the mud from forgotten wrecks in the intertidal zone in the Basque Country, Spain by JOSÉ MANUEL MATÉS LUQUE
Tides of change: coastal geomorphology and the management of shipwrecks on beaches by JENNIFER ELIZABETH JONES
Shipwrecked in Paradise – History and Archaeology of the German merchant raider SMS Seeadler by FLORIAN HUBER
Strandordnungen in early modern Schleswig-Holstein and their historical context by HENNING ANDRESEN
The Nansemond Ghost Fleet: Intertidal Sites as Occasional Museums and Stewards of Community Histories by BRENDAN BURKE
Between Beach Rights and Beach Robbery – the Lower Elbe as a Conflict Area in the 13th and 14th Centuries by STEFAN BRENNER
The Daring Rescue: The Story of New Zealand’s Best Preserved Mid-19th-Century Schooner by KURT BENNETT