|26.09.-01.10.2021||Zadar (Croatia)||16th International Symposium on Boat & Ship Archaeology ||accepted||An early 17th-century ‚half-carvel‘ construction in the North Frisian Wadden Sea: The Japsand wreckage near Hallig Hooge, Germany|
In February 2017 an articulated slab of mixed lapstrake and carvel planking was discovered east of Japsand, an outer shoal of the island of Hooge in Germany. In May another slab of evidently the same wreck was discovered at a distance of 400m. With a terminus post quem of 1609 it is the second oldest so-called ‚half-carvel‘ construction hitherto known after the Åkroken wreck of 1577 from the Swedish town of Sundsvall. Half carvel constructions are mainly linked to Sweden and occured between the 16th to the mid 20th century, but similar constructions are also known from Denmark, Norway and northern Germany. In contrast to most Scandinvian half-carvels, this wreck is built entirely of oak, which originated from a singular source in southern Sweden or northern Germany. Both the timber selection and way of construction indicate a rural origin, which is consistent to the type’s preconceived perception. The find location in an inhospitable and dangerous part of the Wadden Sea – bereft of natural harbours and sheltered anchorages – and the wreck’s fragmentary state suggests a violent loss, which may have been linked to a natural disaster like the historic storm floods of 1625 or 1634, which depopulated the North Frisian Islands.The location of the wreckage in the intertidal zone posed an additional challenge, as it was only accessible at low tide after traversing nearly two kilometres of tidal mudflats and creeks. The circumstances required a fast recording methodology, as newly discovered wrecks are swiftly reclaimed by the sea in this part of the world. It included an extensive photo-documentation for the creation of a SfM-photomosaic, in situ recording, and dendro-sampling. Another critical factor was the involvement of the island community, which local knowledge proved of vital importance for the reporting of new archaeological sites and the logistical support on site.