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R.Rocca
06-04-2013, 01:43 AM
Eight prehistoric boats surface at Fens creek in record bronze age find

3,000-year-old fleet discovered in a Cambridgeshire quarry on the outskirts of Peterborough

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/jun/04/eight-prehistoric-boats-bronze-age

Jean M
06-04-2013, 11:40 AM
More on the Must Farm boats from the Flag Fen website: http://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/museums-and-heritage/flag-fen/discover-the-must-farm-boats/ . The boats have gone there for conservation. Plus the Must Farm site has its own website: http://www.mustfarm.com/. It has more images of the boats.

R.Rocca
06-04-2013, 02:35 PM
Thanks for the pics Jean. The marks on the sides of the boat are interesting, but I don't know if they are due to a construction technique, rope wear, erosion due to burial, or an intentional design pattern???

Jean M
06-04-2013, 03:50 PM
That was my reaction to those criss-cross marks as well.

alan
06-04-2013, 04:16 PM
I was talking to a friend who is into archaeological reconstruction and he was talking to me about experiments with leather, making u or V notched Bronze Age leather shields using wooden moulds etc and how with the right treatement (boiling etc) leather could be incredibly tough and hard like a very strong industrial rubber. That made me wonder if that could be applied to a currach boat to make the skin of the boat incredibly tough and very unlikely to be torn or pierced by anything (even if done delinerately).

GoldenHind
06-04-2013, 07:12 PM
I was talking to a friend who is into archaeological reconstruction and he was talking to me about experiments with leather, making u or V notched Bronze Age leather shields using wooden moulds etc and how with the right treatement (boiling etc) leather could be incredibly tough and hard like a very strong industrial rubber. That made me wonder if that could be applied to a currach boat to make the skin of the boat incredibly tough and very unlikely to be torn or pierced by anything (even if done delinerately).

I suspect this is the ancient art of making defensive armour out of hardened leather, called cuir boilli, which continued in use into the 17th century. It involves boiling leather in wax and then forming it over moulds. I don't know whether it was also used in the construction of boats.

razyn
06-04-2013, 07:52 PM
The marks on the sides of the boat are interesting, but I don't know if they are due to a construction technique, rope wear, erosion due to burial, or an intentional design pattern???

There was a little 1907 discussion of the design made by somewhat similar criss-cross marks around a beaker from Wick Barrow, at this site: http://www.crumbleholme.plus.com/Beakerfolk/beakerfolkwickbarrow.htm (and scroll to the bottom, the discussion quoted below is of beaker #3).

"Between these plain bands the three compartments of ornament are of precisely the same character, consisting of an upper row of triangles pointing downwards and a lower row pointing upwards, the interspaces between them being partly filled by lozenges at regular intervals apart. The bases of the triangles do not touch one another, as is more usual."

Whether one is meant to be looking at the connected X patterns, the lozenges enclosed by them (which on the boat seem also to contain a centered, vertical line), the triangles above and below the said lozenges, or something else entirely -- I have no idea. The patterns on the boat might also have been enhanced by paint or something that didn't last 3,000 years.