Photos: The finds of the Rooswijk shipwreck on display in Ramsgate

Rooswijk finds Photo Brian Whitehead

These are some of the finds that have been on display at the final workshop in Ramsgate to allow people to explore the finds from an international excavation of a Dutch merchant shipwreck.

Many are kept in water to preserve them.

Photo Brian Whitehead

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.

Photo Brian Whitehead

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 and is classed as ‘high risk’ on the Heritage at Risk register due to its exposed remains and vulnerability.

Photo Brian Whitehead

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.

Photo Brian Whitehead

In July an international team of maritime archaeologists returned, diving, excavating and recording the protected wreck.

Photo Brian Whitehead

The team excavated the storage rooms and living quarters in the stern of the ship. They recovered more than 90 items, including two large seaman’s chests, pewter jugs and spoons, glass bottles, a copper alloy oil lamp and personal items such as leather shoes. The items were brought to shore at Ramsgate for conservation work and for the items fully recorded.

Photo Brian Whitehead

Finds were then taken to a Historic England storage facility where work to assess, analyse and conserve them is taking place. The finds will be returned to The Netherlands and in future some material may be made available for display in Ramsgate.

Photo Brian Whitehead

There are a total of 250 Dutch East India Company shipwrecks, of which only a third have been located. Never before has a Dutch East India Company wreck been scientifically researched or excavated on this scale.

Photo Brian Whitehead

The ship’s remains are owned by the Dutch Government and managed by Historic England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The #Rooswijk1740 project is led and financed by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, as part of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

Photo Brian Whitehead

The final workshop is on at Ramsgate Royal Harbour, old port workshop, Military Road until 3pm today (September 16).

Photos Brian Whitehead

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