Nautical

Shipbuilding, boat making, sailing, navigation, and related pursuits

Early period trading vessels found off Italian coast

A small fleet of trading vessels, dating from the 5th-7th centuries, has been found off the coast of the Italian island of Zannone. Evidence of the ships' cargoes was also discovered.

Estonia claims world's oldest operating lighthouse

The Kõpu lighthouse in Estonia was built first used in 1531 and still uses its original lens. The lighthouse once served as a beacon for merchants in the Hanseatic League.

A cool US$600,000 buys Viking ship

Have you ever had the urge to own your own Viing longship? Now is your chance. The city of Sandefjord would like to sell a replace of the Oseberg ship found in 1904 in a Viking grave near Tønsberg, Norway. (photo)

Cannons, not mirrors: Archimedes legend revised

Debunking a legend begun in the Middle Ages, new research suggests Archimedes used steam cannons to set fire to Roman warships. The legend claimed that during the siege of Syracuse, mirrors were used to create a deadly concentration of sunlight that set the ships aflame.

Galleon San Salvador to be rebuilt in San Diego

The Maritime Museum of San Diego is planning to build a replica of explorer Juan Cabrillo's ship, the San Salvador. The San Salvador was the first European expedition to the area, exploring San Diego Bay in 1542.

Rediscovered Health and Safety report damaging for Odysseus's record

A rediscovered ancient Greek scroll lists a number of health and safety violations by Odysseus during his tenure as ship's captain while returning home from the Trojan War.

York's Merchant Adventurers on Facebook

The 15th century met the 21st recently when York, England's Company of Merchant Adventurers announced that it will share the secrets of its famous guildhall in Fossgate on a Facebook website.

Jewel of Muscat sails

1200 years ago, Arab ships sailed the Indian Ocean. Now, centuries later, the Jewel of Muscat, a replica of a 9th century ship, built in Oman as a gift to Singapore, sails again. Her 10-day journey is chonicled in photos by the BBC.

Mary Rose carpenter's dog honored with museum display

In 1545, the Mary Rose sank during the Battle of the Solent. Trapped inside the carpenter's cabin was a dog, probably kept to catch rats. Now the skeleton of the animal, nicknamed "Hatch," is on display at the Mary Rose Museum at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Graveyard of ships found in Baltic Sea

Workers constructing a gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea between Russia and Germany have discovered a graveyard of a dozen shipwrecked vessels, some dating to the Middle Ages.

2500 Viking Ships Sail to Wal-Mart

In a true medieval/modern oddity, 2500 Viking ships are arriving at Wal-Mart stores across the U.S. as part of a promotion of the film How to Train Your Dragon.

Medieval shipwreck found in Baltic Sea

Twelve shipwrecks, including some that may date back as far as 800 years, have been found by a gas company building an underwater pipeline in the Baltic Sea.

Robert Ballard finds Byzantine ship in the Aegean

A 60 Minutes segment on underwater explorer Robert Ballard includes a discussion of the discovered wreck a 7th century Byzantine ship in the Aegean Sea.

Crofter finds Norse anchor on Skye

A Scottish crofter working on a drain on the Isle of Skye was "stunned" to discover an anchor that is believed to date to Viking times. (photo)

12th century shipyard found on Skye

Boat timbers dating to 1100 have been discovered at Loch na h-Àirde, Scotland, leading experts to believe that the loch was "almost certainly the focus of crucial maritime work, whether boat building, repair and maintenance or as an inland harbour."

Fashions of the Mary Rose to go on display

Years after its discovery, the Mary Rose, the famous Tudor warship, continues to excite researchers. The latest items to be displayed show that the 16th century sailor was very conscious of his appearance.

[AET] Piratas Solemnitas

Ahoy mateys and harken to our tale – of pirates and ships; grog and grub; fun and frivolity; and, of course, lots of booty! Be ye a nautical novice or hardened seadog, we welcome you to join us as Delftwood becomes a safe harbor for Piratas Solemnitas – a celebration of marine adventurers! Come explore some of the rich history of maritime adventures, from the Vikings to the Likedeelers, the Corsairs to the Renegados. For as long as there have been boats there has been piracy.

Travel Skotland at your own risk!

Medieval Scotland may not have been as welcoming to Norse travelers as one would think. According to a 13th century Viking travel guide, the country was "full of dangerous natives who speak an incomprehensible language and the is weather awful." The 13th century chronicle warned Icelandic merchants away from the area.

Scottish Archaeology Month celebrates pirates

Two Scottish pirates, executed in Aberdeen in 1597, were the subject of the recent Scottish Archaeology Month. The stories of Robert Laird and John Jackson were to be told as part of the re-enactment Tales from the Tolbooth.

Bosphorus tunnel project creates "Indiana Jones-type" archaeological dig

When construction workers for Istanbul's overwhelmed subway system opened up a tunnel running under the Bosphorus Strait, they expected to begin a process to relieve the traffic congestion. Instead, they uncovered the lost Byzantine port of Theodosius, complete with "an ancient armada: 34 Byzantine ships ranging from dating between the 7th and 11th centuries AD."

Lost William Weston letter documents English exploration of North America

Experts at England's Bristol University are excited by the discovery of a "long-lost" letter written by King Henry VII which references the voyage of merchant William Weston to the new World in 1499. (photo)

Viking video available on Hulu

A 40-minute film: Vikings: Journey to New Worlds is available for free download on the video website Hulu.

Ventotene shipwrecks excite world of Roman archaeology

The discovery of the wrecks of five 3rd - 5th century Roman shipwrecks off the coast of the Italian island of Ventotene has excited the world of Roman-era research. "It is like an underwater museum," said one expert.

Death of Henry Hudson still a mystery

Explorer Henry Hudson died in 1611. That much is known, but the circumstances of his death are still a mystery. Could it have been murder?

Fish shortage drove medieval fishermen to sea

A new study by James Barrett from Cambridge University's McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, shows that around 1,000 C.E., medieval people were forced to begin fishing in the ocean due to a shortage of fresh water fish.

Sweden's first Viking shipwreck found in Lake Vänern

Marine archaeologists believe they have found the first Viking shipwreck ever discovered in Swedish waters. A rib from the ship was found recently in Lake Vänern, the country's largest lake, by the Swedish Coastguard. The rest of the vessel was covered by sediment.

New York celebrates Henry Hudson's discovery of New Amsterdam

In commemoration of the Henry Hudson's 400th discovery of the City of New Amsterdam, the Museum of the City of New York will present “Amsterdam/New Amsterdam: The Worlds of Henry Hudson,” an exhibition of 275 artifacts housed in a replica of the hull of Henry's triple-masted ship. The exhibit runs through September 2009.

Face of Mary Rose's bosun revealed

Forensic artist Richard Neave has reconstructed the face of the bosun of the Mary Rose, Henry VIII's flagship sunk over 400 years ago. The head was constructed from a skull recovered from the sunken ship and identified by the whistle found with his remains. (photo)

Last chance to see the Mary Rose

This summer, the salvaged remnants of the Mary Rose, the 16th century Tudor warship, will go into a sealed chamber in preparation for a newly-designed museum. The current display, "a spooky monument and a time machine," is housed at Portsmouth's historic dockyard.

In 1492 Scotto sailed the ocean blue, laddie

According to Spanish historian Alfonso Ensenat de Villalonga, Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy to Scottish shopkeepers, and was christened Peter Scotto.