Ramsgate will be the base for a major 1740 shipwreck excavation – and you can get involved

Photo Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands

Ramsgate is going to be a hive of activity  from next month as the base of operations for an international excavation of a Dutch merchant shipwreck.

The Rooswijk 1740 Project, run by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands and Historic England, is an archaeological endeavour to research, excavate and map Dutch East Indian ship the Rooswijk which sunk off the Goodwin Sands in 1740.

The entire crew died and the wreck now lies 24 metres depth at sea.

A dive team that worked on the site in 2005 gathered information and lifted the silver and gold coins and silver ingots that were its cargo.

Historic England designated the wreck site in 2007 under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973.

The wreck site is now under threat of erosion of the seabed.

A further dive to secure the wreck, consisting of archaeologists from the Cultural Heritage Agency (RCE), Historic England, the former dive team working on the site in 2005, Wessex Archaeology (the contractor for Historic England) and MSDS Marine, the dive contractor, took place last Autumn.

From next month Ramsgate will be the home of the team carrying out the latest excavation.

As part of this The Nautical Archaeology Society will be running a series of public events, in conjunction with the excavation, so people can have access to the wreck even if they don’t dive.

Get involved with the Rooswijk project

The events will  be held in the Port of Ramsgate and people do not need prior knowledge or experience, just interest and enthusiasm!

Introduction to Maritime Archaeology

Photo NAS

Ever wanted to be an underwater archaeologist? On this full day course, you will get a taster of maritime archaeology including doing some practical fieldwork (without getting wet!) using finds recently raised from the Rooswijk shipwreck.

Cost:   £20 incl. NAS membership

Times: 9am-4pm

Dates: Friday 28 July (Over 16s); Friday 18 August (Under 16s) and  Saturday 9 September (Over 16s)

Photogrammetry & Structured Light Scanning

SW Rooswijk wreck anchor 2016 copyright RCE

Seen those fancy 3D models and wondered how they were created? During this full day course, you will learn about the digital recording techniques of Photogrammetry and Structured Light Scanning through live demonstrations using finds raised from the Rooswijk shipwreck.

Cost: £20 incl. NAS membership

Times: 9-4pm

Dates: Thursday 27 July;  Thursday 24 August and Sunday 10 September

Open Days

Come and see the Rooswijk wreck finds that will have just been raised from the seabed. Talk to the Conservation Lab staff and see how they are stabilising the finds so they don’t fall apart. Learn what the finds can tell us about the wreck and what the archaeologists think this might mean.

Cost: Free!

Times: 10am and 2pm

Dates: Saturday 29 July; Saturday 19 August and  Saturday 16 September

How to take part 

All events require  booking, even the free open days. The courses and other public events are financed by the #Rooswijk1740 project but a small fee is required to cover administrative fees and NAS membership costs.

Contact the NAS to book your place on one or more of these events 023 92818419  or email [email protected].

Ramsgate Festival talk

Daniel Pascoe has been a marine archaeologist for over ten years specialising in the investigation of historic shipwrecks. In that time he has worked for some of the main organisations in UK maritime archaeology including the Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology, the Mary Rose Trust and Wessex Archaeology. He is now director of Pascoe Archaeology Services.

He is the nominated archaeologist for the designated sites of the Northumberland (wrecked 1703), the Hazardous (wrecked 1706). Daniel is also the Licensee and archaeologist for HMS Invincible (wrecked 1758) and co-chair of the Licensees’ Association. His extensive investigations and researching of these sites has resulted in the development of an excellent understanding and knowledge of 17th and 18th century shipwrecks, both underwater and in the archives.

A talk by Daniel Pascoe takes place in the Wellington Room of The Falstaff Hotel on July 30 from 5pm-6pm.

The event is free but needs booking here