Mediterranean Shipbuilding In Iberia: The Dovetail Mortise And Tenon

Author(s): Charles D Bendig

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Current Research and On Going Projects at the J Richard Steffy Ship Reconstruction Laboratory" session, at the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Several archaeological projects in the 1980s revolved around excavation and the analysis of 16th-century Iberian shipwrecks. The number of examples allowed Thomas Oertling at the 1989 SHA conference to propose 12 characteristics that appeared on almost all vessels originating from the Iberian Peninsula. Based on a review of new archaeological material, a decade later Oertling suggested that these ships should be considered part of a sub-shipbuilding tradition of the Mediterranean. As part of a ongoing effort to understand the constructional origin of Oertling’s characteristics, the author is examining the appearance and changes of dovetail joinery. Most 16th-century vessels from the European-Atlantic coastline and Mediterranean include a mortise and tenon connection between the floor timbers and first futtocks at amidships. This analysis tracks the historical development on surviving archaeological examples of this hull connection and how shipbuilders utilized different styles of connection depending on where the ship originated.

Cite this Record

Mediterranean Shipbuilding In Iberia: The Dovetail Mortise And Tenon. Charles D Bendig. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, St. Charles, MO. 2019 ( tDAR id: 448980)


Dovetail Iberian Shipbuilding

Geographic Keywords
United States of America

Temporal Keywords
16th Century

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): 193