Ships’ Bells: Significant History, Unknown Origins

Author(s): Samuel Cuellar

Year: 2014


Ships’ bells have long been of interest in maritime history. Despite this, however, not much is known on the origin, design, and use of ship bells’ prior to the 18th century. The lack of adequate research on this topic limits the understanding of how bells came to be aboard ships, where they were first created, and how they changed stylistically over time and place. All of these elements may prove crucial in providing contextual information to sites discovered with an associated bell. This paper will briefly describe the extent of past research and offer new iconographic, historical, and archaeological evidence on early ships’ bells to expand the understanding of these early tools. On a larger scale, the importance of properly understanding small subsets of artifacts in order to translate their contextual information to a larger site will be stressed.

Cite this Record

Ships’ Bells: Significant History, Unknown Origins. Samuel Cuellar. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437259)

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Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-70,09