Cover

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Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Foreword

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pp. ix-x

It is with great pleasure that I write the foreword for this book. Having spent most of the 1970s excavating and researching the Batavia shipwreck, and then finally overseeing reconstruction of the recovered surviving portion of the ship’s hull after a lengthy conservation process, I was aware that the details of hull construction had not been properly...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

This book is based on research conducted in the Netherlands and Australia from 2002 to 2008. This work is the result of the combined efforts of all those who were involved, supported my research, and made it possible for me to publish the results. Numerous institutions generously funded my education at Texas A&M University, research, and...

Legend for Timber Drawings

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pp. xiii-xvi

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-7

On its maiden voyage to the Indies, the Dutch East Indiaman Batavia sank on Morning Reef in the Houtman Abrolhos off the western coast of Australia in the early-morning hours of 4 June 1629. The new ship of the Dutch United East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, or VOC) had set sail eight months earlier on 29 October...

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2. From Carvel Construction to Voc Shipbuilding

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pp. 8-39

Dutch shipbuilding practices in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries were the result of local technological development and Holland’s cultural and socioeconomic climate. At this time, the Dutch commenced their own trade with Asia and set sail beyond European waters. For the first time, they had to design and build ships for long-distance...

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3. Site Formation, Excavation, and Reconstruction

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pp. 40-72

This chapter evaluates the excavation and recording methods pertaining to Batavia’s hull and their influence on this study: the archaeological circumstances in which Batavia’s wreck was found, starting with the site’s location, the wrecking event, and the site’s formation; the excavation methodology when directly related to the hull study; and the...

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4. Hull Study and Description

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pp. 73-142

The VOC Chamber of Amsterdam began the construction of two East Indiamen sometime aft er the spring of 1626. It is uncertain whether one of these two ships was Batavia. They were, however, the first two ships built according to the VOC shipbuilding charter of 29 March 1626. This charter prescribed that, henceforth, the following dimensions had...

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5. The Archaeology of Dutch Oceangoing Ships

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pp. 143-185

The expansion of overseas trade and shipping during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries increased the demand for the construction of ships in the Lowlands, particularly large oceangoing vessels. A comprehensive understanding of the Dutch shipbuilding tradition relating to these large seagoing ships during this period is difficult to achieve...

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6. Double-Hull Planking and Sheathing

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pp. 186-205

The practice of building ships with a double-planked hull seems to have been typical for Dutch East Indiamen, as illustrated by the archaeological remains discussed previously and according to archival documents dating to the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The earliest references to double layers of hull planking can be found in the...

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7. Timber Used in the Construction of Batavia

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pp. 206-223

When the reconstruction of Batavia was built in the Netherlands in the 1980s, Nanning Porsius conducted research into the provenance and nature of timber used by the VOC in the early seventeenth century. He wanted to determine what criteria the VOC used to buy such essential resources and what diff erences in quality were encountered between...

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8. Analysis of Batavia's Hull and Construction

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pp. 224-234

Batavia’s overall dimensions from the VOC archives indicate that it was a slender vessel with a length-to-beam ratio of 4.4:1. The ship measured 160 Amsterdam ft (45.30 m) in length over its upper deck and 36 Amsterdam ft (10.19 m) in beam.¹ It was stipulated to be built with a height between the top of its keel and its lower deck of 12.5 Amsterdam ft...

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9. Conclusion

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pp. 235-240

Batavia was clearly the result of dynamic developments in the Dutch shipbuilding industry that occurred in the late sixteenth century. Like the flute for the Baltic trade, India ships and the smaller yachts were introduced for a special purpose, in this case the long-distance trade with Asia, a result of the country’s socioeconomic, technological...

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Appendix A: VOC Ship Construction Charters

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pp. 241-252

Translating excerpts from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century manuscripts on contemporaneous shipbuilding, written in Old Dutch, is a complicated task. The following translations of VOC shipbuilding charters must, therefore, be seen as a conjectural attempt, which undoubtedly will leave many questions unanswered...

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Appendix B: Catalog of Batavia Hull Remains

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pp. 253-264

All measurements are maximum linear horizontal and vertical dimensions taken from Batavia’s timbers, with the exception of knees, for which length is the direct measurements between the two ends, and thickness is the maximum molded dimension at the intersection of the two arms (see fig. 4-74). For frame, sternpost, and...

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Appendix C: Terminology for Dendrochronological Research

Elsemieke Hanraets

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pp. 265-266

Wood species are identified solely for the purpose of dendrochronological dating. Usually only the genus (i.e., Quercus sp. or Pinus sp.) is listed, unless it is known or obvious in some way what species the wood is...

Notes

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pp. 267-290

Bibliography

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pp. 291-302

Index

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pp. 303-311