Archaeologia Maris Baltici et Septentrionalis

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Converted clinker

The schematic cross-section of the Maasilinn wreck from ca. 1550 highlighting the most probable building sequence. The latter is indicated by the shading - i.e. the darker the earlier (Graph: Daniel Zwick)

The schematic cross-section of the Maasilinn wreck from ca. 1550 highlighting the most probable building sequence. The latter is indicated by the shading – i.e. the darker the earlier (Graph: Daniel Zwick)

The Maasilinn wreck from the Island of Saaremaa, Estonia, is the earliest so-called “converted clinker” construction known so far. This construction encompasses an ordinary clinker-built shell-first construction, which was later refitted with a second layer of flush-laid planks. Only three comparable wrecks are known from the late 16th / early 17th century, one in German waters i.e. FPL-77  (ca. 1590), and two in Polish waters i.e.  W-36 (after 1596) and Dębki (early 17th century). This wreck forms the last case study of my thesis, in which the following aspects are addressed:

  • detailed constructional comparison to other converted clinker constructions, evaluation of the building sequence and some special features, like the bilge-well
  • hypotheses for the addition of the carvel skin, ranging from maintenance & repair and water-tightness, the shallow water environment in which this vessel operated, protection from increased ice-drift with the beginning of the Little Ice Age, or a prestige-biased transmission
  • the historical site context of the castle of Soneburg and its harbour, in which this wreck was discovered, and the transport geography of the Bailiwick of Soneburg in the last decades of the Livonian Confederation

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