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Ship Elements

SS Republic

Site 35F

Blue China

Site 35F is characterized as the poorly preserved remains of a heavily disarticulated wooden hull associated with an extensive set of cannon, with only a limited part of its original cargo surviving.  While the wreck and cargo have been heavily impacted by offshore fishing activities, an eclectic assortment of ship elements have been documented on the site as well as recovered and researched, providing an interesting glimpse into ship construction and life on this late 17th–century West African trader, quite possibly a Royal Africa Company merchant vessel. 


Some of the ship-related finds include a concreted section of iron rigging, animal hair, possibly from a horse, which was likely used as caulking between wooden planks, as well brick fragments from the galley hearth and a section of lead perhaps used to insulate the hearth area. Left in situ was an iron concretion which may represent part of the storm shroud gear, and a concreted iron anchor. Additional recovered ship elements discussed in greater detail include ballast stone, stacked copper cauldron bases possibly for use in the ship’s galley, and a rare wooden folding rule, an important carpenter’s tool which would have been used to measure the area and volume of timber and planking in general shipboard situations.

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