THE WRECK OF THE AMSTERDAM by Peter Marsden

THE WRECK OF THE AMSTERDAM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In its day (1748-49) the Dutch merchantman Amsterdam was the pride of the Dutch East India Company, and the most technically sophisticated ship in its fleet. After setting sail for Indonesia, it was located three months later off the southern coast of England, most of its crew missing. At low tide the ribs of the ship can still be seen on the sands near Hastings. Five years ago Peter Marsden and a research team began their adventure in nautical archaeology, not only recovering precious ""antiquities"" and pieces of the ship but also building a well-documented historical investigation about the ill-fated vessel, its captain, embarkation, voyage, legends, and a survey of other wrecked Dutch East Indiamen. Still, it is an unfinished story, with ownership of the wreck yet to be determined as well as a method for moving the hulk intact. Unhappy legalities have snared the operation and meanwhile several antiquities have deteriorated completely. The job of looking through the sand for artifacts was immensely complicated by the need to go slowly and to determine the ship's layout so that nothing would be injured during recovery. This included reconstructing the normal activities of the ship's daily life. Every outstanding find so far unearthed is shown in the nearly 200 photographs, as are sonar tracings of the ship's Structure and maps of the times. A vast project with more to come.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1975
Publisher: Stein & Day