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Voyagers in the Vault of Heaven: The Phenomenon of Ships in the Sky in Medieval Ireland and Beyond

This paper explores the phenomenon of ships voyaging in the sky. Such fantastical sightings are considered primarily in an early medieval Irish context, but evidence from places as widely separated in time and place as thirteenth-century England and eighteenth-century Canada is also addressed.

What we are learning about the Newport Medieval Ship

A team of maritime historians and archaeologists, led by academics at the University of Bristol, has published compelling new evidence about the remains of the largest and best-preserved late medieval ship ever discovered.

Large-scale whaling in northern Scandinavia may date back to 6th century

The intensive whaling that has pushed many species to the brink of extinction today may be several centuries older than previously assumed. This view is held by archaeologists from Uppsala and York whose findings are presented in the European Journal of Archaeology.

The Vasa: Gustav II Adolf’s Glorious and Doomed Warship

On the 10th of August 1628, the Vasa sank in Stockholm harbour, thus ending the career of the most powerful warship that Sweden had ever seen.

When the Atlantic Ocean had many islands: The mythical and miraculous places west of medieval Europe

Why medieval people did not accept that the vast space in the Atlantic Ocean between the Old World and the New could truly be an empty one.

A shipwreck and an 800-year-old ‘made in China’ label reveal lost history

Centuries ago, a ship sank in the Java Sea off the coast of Indonesia. The wooden hull disintegrated over time, leaving only a treasure trove of cargo.

The Mary Rose: A Visit to Henry VIII’s Flagship

If you find yourself in the English town of Portsmouth, Minjie Su suggests a visit to the Mary Rose – to see the remains of the famous 16th century ship.

Old Norse Ship Names and Ship Terms

The nautical language of the North Sea Germanic area is a very elaborate and rich terminology. This was no less true at the time I am dealing with, namely the period from the Viking Age up to about 1400 A.D.

Catalan commerce in the late Middle Ages

In this article I shall examine the maritime commercial activities of Catalans abroad.

Archaeological output in the museum setting: a case study – The Mary Rose

What is the ultimate output of this archaeological excavation? How are the results of the work communicated to a wider public in a way that is engaging for a 21st-century audience?

The character of commercial fishing in Icelandic waters in the fifteenth century

The character of commercial fishing in Icelandic waters in the fifteenth century By Mark Gardiner Cod and Herring: The Archaeology and History of Medieval Sea Fishing, eds. J. Barrett and D. Orton (Oxbow Books, 2016) Abstract: From the early fifteenth century English vessels began fishing in Icelandic waters. They adopted a mixed approach of fishing and trading to […]

DNA samples reveal Viking Age fish trade

It has been assumed that the Vikings were trading in cod, but so far solid evidence has been lacking. With new methods, it is possible to extract ancient DNA from fishbone remnants and this can provide some exciting new information!

Henry V and the crossing to France: reconstructing naval operations for the Agincourt campaign, 1415

On 11 August 1415 a large fleet slipped out of the Solent and headed to the Chef de Caux.

The Growth of London as a Port from Roman to Medieval Times

Rather than describing a history of the port of London, it seems more appropriate to say PORTS of London, since the locations, vessels, cargoes and waterfront facilities differed as much as the prevalent languages, cultures and currencies.

Surviving a Medieval Shipwreck

‘But then the wind came upon us from the mountains, and we could not handle the sails, and we were caught in the gale and the rain and thunder and lightning.’

Medieval Maritime Warfare

Charles Stanton uses an innovative and involving approach to describe this fascinating but neglected facet of European medieval history.

Iron Age boathouses in Arctic Norway viewed as multifunctional expressions of maritime cultural heritage

Boathouses have been in use in Norway for at least 2000 years and c. 850 structures pre-dating the 16th century have been recorded.

The Infamous Military Campaign of 1379

The destruction of an English fleet led by Sir John Arundel in 1379 is reported by most chroniclers to be an unfortunate accident. However, if you read what Thomas Walsingham has to say about what happened, you get a far more horrific version of events.

The Use of the Lead and Line by Early Navigators in the North Sea?

This paper draws attention to the lack of information as to how early North Sea sailors navigated, particularly during the one thousand year period that followed Roman times.

‘Pirates, robbers and other malefactors’: The role played by violence at sea in relations between England and the Hanse towns, 1385 – 1420

This thesis will argue that the impact of specific phenomena, particularly the activities of the Vitalienbrüder, on Anglo-Hanseatic relations has been not only neglected but misunderstood, and that attention to English sources can help flesh out our understanding of the Vitalienbrüder’s history.

What do Cod Bones from the Mary Rose tell us about the global fish trade?

New stable isotope and ancient DNA analysis of the bones of stored cod provisions recovered from the wreck of the Tudor warship Mary Rose, which sank off the coast of southern England in 1545, has revealed that the fish in the ship’s stores had been caught in surprisingly distant waters

The Newport Medieval Ship in Context: The Life and Times of a 15th Century Merchant Vessel Trading in Western Europe

This paper presents a summary of recent research into the broader economic, cultural and political world in which the Newport Medieval Ship was built and operated.

How did medieval seafarers turn trees into boat parts?

In this video, Professor Jon Adams of the University of Southampton explains the techniques by which shipwrights have converted the trees of the forest into the components of the boats in which people eventually sailed around the world.

BOOK REVIEW: Genoa ‘La Superba’: The Rise and Fall of a Merchant Pirate Superpower by Nicholas Walton

While most books about Italy have been dedicated to tourist hubs like Milan, Florence, Rome, Sicily and Venice, Genoa with its rich history, rugged landscape, and tenacious residents, has been given only a passing mention.

Early Norse Navigation Tools

These two pieces of navigation equipment were at the time as cutting edge as the iphone, the ipad, and the GPS is today. They allowed the sailors to navigate large stretches of open water without sight of land and successfully reach their destination as safely as possible.

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