Wood-carving weblogger Robin Wood and colleagues led by archaelologist and ancient timber expert Richard Darrah are constructing a half-scale replica of a Bronze Age stitched-plank boat discovered during the building of an underpass at Dover in 1992.
The first three photos above are of the replica in build; the last one is of the original at the museum. Dating back to 1575-1520BC, it’s one the oldest surviving sea-going vessel in the world, which is quite a thought.
Reading Robin’s weblog posts about the project, one aspect I found particularly striking is the sheer weight of the timbers, despite the fact that this is a reduced-size replica. Before carving and shaping, some of them weighed as much as half a ton.
Another interesting point is the evident pleasure Robin takes from making and using replica bronze-age tools made on site – tools that have proven to be surprisingly effective.
And, finally, I’d just like to point out that while this boat may be ancient, with its lovely carved, steamed and stitched form it’s a highly sophisticated piece of work. Far more elaborate than a dugout, it’s clearly a relatively late object in the history of boat building – and that too is quite a thought.