A Swedish man-of-war in Dutch waters; an archaeological field evaluation of the wreck of the Sophia Albertina
Research has revealed the identity of a Swedish man-of-war sunk in Dutch waters. An identification of this kind is still a rare event in Dutch underwater archaeology.
In 2002, recreational divers happened upon a ship’s bell while diving in a wreck near Noorderhaaks, a sandbar southwest of the island of Texel. It turned out to be of Swedish origin. After correspondence with the Swedish National Maritime Museum, the theory was put forward that this could well be the Swedish man-of-war the Princess Sophia Albertina, which was lost in 1781. This theory was confirmed by an archaeological field evaluation conducted in the summer of 2004. The identification made the moderately to poorly preserved wreck a more valuable find and it has subsequently been classified as worthy of preservation.
Determining the historical value
The sturdy structure of the shipwreck was an early indication that these were the remains of a warship. Like the ship’s bell, the 23 cannons and iron bars found at the site could be traced to Sweden and dated to the eighteenth century. The dating and origin correspond to the results of dendrochronological research; the ship’s timbers come from Scandinavia and from trees felled after 1750.
This publication is also available in Dutch.
Who is this publication for?
This scientific report is intended for archaeologists (especially maritime archaeologists), other heritage professionals and enthusiasts with an active interest in underwater archaeology.
Archaeological Heritage Management Reports 201
Author: A.B.M. Overmeer
© The Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency, Amersfoort, 2012