Is There A Doctor On Board? Answering The Question Of Vasa's Barber Surgeon.

Author(s): Nathaniel R King

Year: 2018


A Swedish researcher wrote in 2014 that a group of artifacts found on Vasa belonged to the ship's barber. These artifacts included, a whisk, wooden ladles, a wooden mortar and pestle, a grater, a beer tap, a pewter flask, and a stoneware jar.  The barber surgeon is perhaps the most important crew member a ship can have.  A ship's barber surgeon was responsible for the treatment of diseases and injuries while the vessel is at sea, at times having to act as surgeon, physician, and apothecary, often with little recognition.  This talk will discuss whether the barber surgeon was present when Vasa set sail on its short lived maiden voyage by comparing what artifacts were found on Vasa, and what artifacts were not.  This talk will compare artifacts from Vasa with those from other shipwrecks from similar time periods, providing a clear answer about the ship’s barber surgeon.

Cite this Record

Is There A Doctor On Board? Answering The Question Of Vasa's Barber Surgeon.. Nathaniel R King. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441956)


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): 296