Dating the Sparrow-Hawk

Author(s): Aoife M Daly

Year: 2020


This is a paper/report submission presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

In 1626, a ship making its way to Virginia reached land at Cape Cod. On board were two Englishmen and many Irish servants. The ship was damaged and the travelers were allowed to stay at the plantation at Plymouth while they awaited passage south.

After a storm in 1863, at ‘old ship harbor’, a shipwreck was exposed and the remains lifted. This ship, named the Sparrow-Hawk, was hailed as the very same ship that had brought the Virginia-bound passengers to Plymouth.

In January 2018, samples from the ship timbers, now housed at the Pilgrim Hall Museum, were extracted for dendrochronology, to discover whether this ship is indeed a European ship from the 17th century. This work received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 677152). The dendrochronological analysis was inconclusive, so radiocarbon dating was the next step.

Cite this Record

Dating the Sparrow-Hawk. Aoife M Daly. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457343)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Early Settlers Timber wiggle-match

Geographic Keywords

Temporal Keywords
Seventeenth Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: 8.093; min lat: 54.562 ; max long: 15.138; max lat: 57.736 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 501