'Australian archaeologists searching for 18th-century Dutch wreck
January 21, 2015 - 10:20am
Starting on 19 January a team of Australian archaeologists will be researching a number of Dutch East India Company shipwrecks in the Indian Ocean near Christmas Island and the Cocos Islands. This project, which will focus specifically on locating the wreck of the VOC ship De Fortuyn, is being supported by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, the Dutch embassy in Canberra, and the Australian Silentworld Foundation.
Dutch and Australian archaeologists have been trying to locate the wreck of De Fortuyn for quite some time, and in this project the two countries will be combining forces. Martijn Manders, head of the Maritime Programme of the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency, says: “I am very excited that the researchers will now investigate the most likely location of De Fortuyn according to our historical research. Pablo Boorsma, a Master’s student of Maritime Archaeology at Leiden University, has done an amazing job of plotting the search zone. It’s now up to our Australian colleagues to do the fieldwork. Following this work, we will evaluate our progress and discuss our plans for the future, in the hope that we will locate the wreck before or during the Dirk Hartog commemorative year in 2016.” ' (From the Cultural Heritage Agency website)
(See an in-depth article in 'The Monthly Essays', Bring up the Bodies by Jeff Sparrow)
Back in 2011, Roze was fortunate to run into Joke an archaeologist from the Cultural Heritage Agency in Miri and invited her to take a look at the artefacts that were brought up from the wreck of the Viscount Melbourne. She was impressed with the care that Roze had taken with the artefacts and this led to an invitation to study the art of preservation at the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, which was posted in an earlier blog. Photos of Roze and Hans' European trip can be found in our photo gallery.