Farewell from Monkey Island!

Mukran Wreck Week 3

June 21st:

The last few days have been busy trying to finish our research of Mukran before we have to leave Rügen. In order to obtain the best possible amount of information about the construction of the ship we chose to focus on four cross sections located amidships, one on the bow while two were at the stern. The cross sections were obtained by making off set drawings. Instead of a description with general measurements, the cross sections were drawn in detail on a scale of 1:10.

Alongside the underwater offsets, the recovered sternpost timbers and swivel gun from a nearby wreck were recorded using this same method (see blog “Mukran wreck week 2”). Originally it was planned that one of the sternpost timbers was to be recorded using the total station (which can record objects in detail after which the data could be used to make a 3D model). But it was unfortunately in a “cranky” mood and refused to cooperate. As such, the last sternpost timber was also recorded with the offset method. Two members of the team went to Schwerin to finish the documentation of the last artefacts and they had a successful photo shoot.

Setting up the total station, with the sternpost timbers "unwrapped" in the foreground.

Setting up the total station, with the sternpost timbers “unwrapped” in the foreground.

Meanwhile, on the Mukran wreck, eager divers brought various finds up to the surface, which included a piece of rope, animal bones (possibly from a pig), and other interesting finds. The team got a bit excited when it was rumoured that pottery had been found on the wreck (for the first time!), however, it turned out that the find was a fairly small fragment. But still, pottery!

A caulking sample was also brought up from the wreck and there were plans for bringing up further samples of wood and tar (more than one diver has encountered “the tar”, and funnily enough everyone seemed rather relieved that Alex was the one to secure a sample). It was also suggested to bring up samples for dendrochronology, but due to time constrains it was decided not to pursue this at this time.

In general the weather proved (once again) to be a bit of a challenge for the dive teams when the afternoon dive on Monday had to be cut short since we simply weren’t ready to give up our little boat to make a “Neue Mukran” (New Mukran) wreck. Although this might have secured the destination for next years field school.


Tuesday the 21st, “the last day”, was spent on finishing the recordings, packing up our research, cleaning the equipment and making sure that the wreck site was secured as best as possible. This was done by placing geotextile on the uncovered parts of the wreck, which were held down simply by placing rocks on top of the geotextile.

Tomorrow, we will pack up the campsite and begin our journey back to Esbjerg (into the sunset, cue the music).

These three weeks have been without a doubt an amazing experience which has given us new skill-sets. A big thanks to our instructors: Jens Auer, Konstantinos Alexiou, Athena Trakadas and Thijs Maarleveld. Thanks to Mike Belasus, from the German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven, for being a part of the field school and making it possible.

Alice Neet and Janne Flensborg

Farewell from Monkey Island!

Farewell from Monkey Island!

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