On Ideal and Real Ships: Shipbuilding Treatises c.1570 - 1620 C.E. and the Highbourne Cay Shipwreck

Summary

Archaeological hull remains are the only direct evidence of real shipbuilding practices, although treatises written by contemporaries detail various methods for controlling the construction of a ship.  However, these technical documents were rarely written by shipwrights or experienced seamen, and at times the vessels and methods described in the text do not accurately describe each step in the shipbuilding process.  Treatises written in the latter half of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century may represent idealized forms of the ships that sailed earlier.  A critical analyses of the documents alongside archaeological data retrieved from shipwreck excavations allows researchers to assess the different geometric relationships identified in the treatises, and to compare these to the actualized forms recorded at archaeological sites.  For this study, data retrieved from the Highbourne Cay shipwreck are compared to Spanish and Portuguese treatises thought to be published c.1570 - 1620 C.E.

Cite this Record

On Ideal and Real Ships: Shipbuilding Treatises c.1570 - 1620 C.E. and the Highbourne Cay Shipwreck. Ricardo Borrero Londoño, Nicholas C. Budsberg. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441256)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 849