International Conference
Shipwrecks in the intertidal zone
Archaeological and historical approaches
Hamburg, 18 to 20 November 2022
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The idea behind this conference

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.

Participation

The keynote speech on November 18 is open to the public and free of charge, for which anybody interested can register. 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 webpage.

Conference programme

Please note that the programme is subject to change

  • 18:00 - 19:30
  • JERZY GAWRONSKI
  • tba

Docking the Amsterdam (1749). Public archaeology of an intertidal Dutch East Indiaman

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.

Conference opening

Conference opening

Welcome address by the conference organisers and supporters

Conference programme

Conference programme

A list of papers, and coffee & lunch breaks will be announced in due time.

Guided tour on the barque PEKING (1911)

Guided tour on the barque PEKING (1911)

A transfer will be organised from the IMMH to the PEKING. After the tour we meet for dinner. More details will be announced soon.

Conference programme
  • 09:00 - 16:00
  • International Maritime Museum (KDM Lounge - Deck 7)

Conference programme

A list of papers, and coffee & lunch breaks will be announced in due time.

Topics

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?

Samuel Prout (1848): "Salving from the wreck"

Wreck reports from all over the world

Conference contributions

Abstracts

Ireland

Ireland

The CHERISH project: Investigating the impacts of climate change on intertidal wrecks by ROBERT SHAW

Europe

Europe

Shipwreck in Medieval and Early Modern Times: On the history of maritime risk-taking conserved in language, written tradition and objects by GABRIEL ZEILINGER

General theme

General theme

From Ship to Wreck by JANN WITT

Australia

Now you see it, now you don’t: Management of the intertidal wreck of the Buster from 2012-2021 by BRAD DUNCAN

United Kingdom & Netherlands

United Kingdom & Netherlands

Docking the Amsterdam (1749). Public archaeology of an intertidal Dutch East Indiaman by JERZY GAWRONSKI

Netherlands

Netherlands

Musealization of rare and clandestine textiles from Texel’s Palmwood Wreck by CORINA HORDIJK & ALEC EWING

Denmark

Denmark

Early commercial wreck-diving on the west coast of Denmark 1838-1938 by CHRISTOPHER JACOB RIES

Florida (United States)

‘Skeletons of Foundered Ships:’ Beached Shipwrecks of St. Augustine, Florida, America’s Oldest Port by CHUCK MEIDE

Schleswig-Holstein (Germany)

Schleswig-Holstein (Germany)

The Riddle of the Shifting Sands: The historic shipwrecks of the North Frisian Wadden Sea exposed by coastal erosion by DANIEL ZWICK

Wales (United Kingdom)

Wales (United Kingdom)

The inter-tidal shipwrecks of Wales: Challenges and Opportunities by JULIAN WHITEWRIGHT

Lower Saxony (Germany)

Lower Saxony (Germany)

Brief Encounters – Wreck Investigations in the Inter-Tidal Zone of Lower Saxony’s Wadden Sea 2006 – 2019 by MICHAEL WESEMANN

England (United Kingdom)

England (United Kingdom)

CITiZAN: shipwrecks and smartphones, the rapid recording of vessels in the intertidal zone by ANDY SHERMAN

Scotland (United Kingdom)

Scotland (United Kingdom)

Secret in the Sands: The discovery of wooden wreck remains on the island of Fuday, Sound of Barra, Outer Hebrides, Scotland by DAN ATKINSON

Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (France)

Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (France)

Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (France): The Archipelago of Shipwrecks, from Myth to Study by CÉCILE SAUVAGE

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Neither Hero nor Victim: Intertidal Shipwrecks and Responses of Coastal Communities in 19th Century Britain by CATHRYN PEARCE

Basque Country (Spain)

Basque Country (Spain)

Removing the mud from forgotten wrecks in the intertidal zone in the Basque Country, Spain by JOSÉ MANUEL MATÉS LUQUE

United States

United States

Tides of change: coastal geomorphology and the management of shipwrecks on beaches by JENNIFER ELIZABETH JONES

French Polynesia

French Polynesia

Shipwrecked in Paradise – History and Archaeology of the German merchant raider SMS Seeadler by FLORIAN HUBER

Scotland (United Kingdom)

Scotland (United Kingdom)

Boat graveyards in Scotland by TOM DAWSON & JOANNA HAMBLY

Schleswig-Holstein (Germany)

Schleswig-Holstein (Germany)

Strandordnungen in early modern Schleswig-Holstein and their historical context by HENNING ANDRESEN

Virginia (United States)

Virginia (United States)

The Nansemond Ghost Fleet: Intertidal Sites as Occasional Museums and Stewards of Community Histories by BRENDAN BURKE

Hamburg (Germany)

Hamburg (Germany)

Between Beach Rights and Beach Robbery – the Lower Elbe as a Conflict Area in the 13th and 14th Centuries by STEFAN BRENNER

New Zealand

New Zealand

The Daring Rescue: The Story of New Zealand’s Best Preserved Mid-19th-Century Schooner by KURT BENNETT

Sponsors and supporters

Organisers

Prof. Dr. Oliver Auge is a history professor with a focus on medieval and early modern regional history in Schleswig-Holstein

Dr. Ulf Ickerodt is the head of the State Archaeology Department of Schleswig-Holstein

Dr. Daniel Zwick is a maritime archaeologist and initiator and manager of this conference