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

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.

Big guns of Elizabeth's navy

The Elizabethan era of English history was in many ways a time of transition including in the area of naval warfare. The recent discovery of the wreck of a small fighting ship off Alderney in the Channel Islands offers proof that Elizabeth's navy had "created the first ever set of uniform cannon, capable of firing the same size shot in a deadly barrage." (photos)

Mary Rose to get its own museum

Plans are finally underway for the construction of a museum honoring the Tudor warship Mary Rose, Henry VIII's flagship which sank in 1545 with the loss of 400 lives.

Submerged island and sunken galley may hold clues to Venetian dominance

Italian archaeologists are undertaking a project to raise an entire island which has been submerged in the lagoon of Venice since the 16th century. Among the artifacts they hope to recover is a remarkably preserved 13th century wooden galley.

"Sailing the Western Sea" theme of Penn State's Medieval Conference

The twenty-first Medieval Studies conference at Penn State University will take on the all things nautical with Sailing the Western Sea: The Atlantic Ocean in Medieval Perspective. The conference will take place March 29 in State College, Pennsylvania.

Divers seek treasure-laden Armada ship

Marine archaeologists, led by a Scottish royal, are searching the silt of Tobermory Bay near Scotland's Isle of Mull for the wreck of a Spanish Armada ship reputed to have carried a hoard of treasure.

Coverup masks reason for demise of the Mary Rose

A new study presents the theory that Henry VIII's flagship the Mary Rose was sunk by a French cannonball, a fact that was covered up to save the image of the English Navy.

Treasures of "first Byzantine port" wow experts

An amazing assortment of artifacts have been found beneath the waters on the Marmaris Sea near Istanbul with the discovery of what is thought to be the "first Byzantine port of the ancient city of Constantinople." The treasures are giving archaeologists a glimpse of life in 4th century Byzantium.


Author Edward Kritzler, author of a new book Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean: How a Generation of Swashbuckling Jews Carved Out an Empire in the New World in Their Quest for Treasure, Religious Freedom — and Revenge has probably heard all the jokes about Jewish pirates, but he has the last laugh. Benjamin Ivry of the Jewish Daily Forward has a review.

Newport ship remains displayed in Wales

Pieces of the 15th century ship discovered in 2002 on the River Usk went on display recently at Unit 22, Maesglas Industrial Estate in Newport, South Wales. Timbers from the ship are being removed individually from the site with hopes of future restoration.

16th century ship found on "Skeleton Coast"

Archaeologists are working furiously to save the wreck of a 16th century Portuguese ship discovered recently on the Namibian coast. "This is perhaps the largest find in terms of artefacts from a shipwreck in this part of the world," said project manager Webber Ndoro.

Norwegian shipwrecks "sensational" find

"The largest collection of antique shipwrecks ever found in Norway" has been unearthed at the site of a new highway near Oslo, Norway. At least nine well-preserved wooden ships dating to the early 17th century were uncovered near Bjoervika.

Language barrior key to the sinking of the Mary Rose?

New research on the sinking of the Tudor ship The Mary Rose speculates that the ship may have been lost due to the lack of English language skills by the mostly Spanish crew. The theory might help explain the cryptic shout of "George Carew, to another English ship, that his men were 'knaves I cannot rule.'"

Vietnamese waged fierce battle against Kublai Khan.

Researchers from Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia are hoping to shed new light on the 13th century battle between ships from the fleet of China’s emperor Kublai Khan and the Vietnamese general Tran Hung Dao, who defended the Bach Dang River near Hanoi.

Voyage of the Sea Stallion in Smithsonian

The July 2008 issue of Smithsonian Magazine features a cover story on last year's voyage of the Viking replica ship Sea Stallion. The ship is scheduled to return to Denmark this summer.

Sea Stallion to return to Denmark

The Sea Stallion, the replica of the Danish longship which sailed from Denmark to Ireland in 2007, is scheduled to be returned to Denmark for exhibition.

Magellan aided by El Niño

Dr. Scott Fitzpatrick of North Carolina State University has an intense interest in the historic climate. A recent paper by the professor and University of Calgary researcher Dr. Richard Callaghan, hopes to prove that Magellan's 1519 circumnavigation of the globe was aided by weather favorable weather condition including El Niño.

Shipwreck cannons to be returned to the Tower of London

Marine archaeologists are working to recover the cannons from an Elizabethan ship which sank near the Channel Islands in 1592. The big guns will be taken to the Tower of London for expert restoration and conservation.