Ship Conservation Ship Conservation

Conservation

What we found

Archaeologists love to find objects from the past, these are called artefacts. They can tell us information about people in the past. Most of the time archaeologists only find parts of objects, but it is still possible to learn lots from just a single fragment.

During the excavation of the Newport Ship the archaeologists discovered parts of 400 objects which tell us about the ship itself, the crew on board and also what life in Medieval Newport may have been like.

Two of the most exciting finds are a piece of inscribed brass strip which is thought to have come from a piece of armour, and a leather wristguard.

The wristguard would have been worn by an archer to protect his clothing and skin from the snap of the bow string when he had fired an arrow. The discovery of this wristguard and fragments of cannon balls suggests that some of its crew must have been able to defend the ship with weapons if it came under attack.

During this period there was a huge threat at sea from pirates and many merchant ships were attacked and stolen. 

Further finds have included pulley blocks and rigging elements that would have been used during the working life of the ship; textiles, sailcloth and woollen clothing, cork, Portuguese coins and pottery and personal belongings including two combs and a gaming piece.

One of the most important objects found was a silver French coin that was inserted into the keel. The placing of coins in timbers was a symbol of good luck. Experts have dated the coin to the late 1440’s.