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The archaeology of ship communication: Preliminary study of an early 17th-century Dutch poste restante in the Indian Ocean

Author(s): Wendy Van Duivenvoorde

Year: 2013

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Summary

On their way to the East Indies, seamen of Dutch East India Company ships chiselled messages into rocks and boulders and, at the base of these rocks, often left letters, carefully wrapped in layers of canvas and tar and sealed inside lead envelopes. The idea was that the crew of the next Dutch ship to anchor in that same place would pen down the message on the rock and collect the letters. Examples of these so-called ‘postal stones’ have been found on St Helena Island, at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, and in the Bay of Antongil in Madagascar. This paper discusses the preliminary study and archaeological remains of an early 17th-century Dutch post restante and its immediate environment in the Indian Ocean.


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The archaeology of ship communication: Preliminary study of an early 17th-century Dutch poste restante in the Indian Ocean. Wendy Van Duivenvoorde. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428711)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: 112.952; min lat: -43.648 ; max long: 153.606; max lat: -10.71 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 713

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America