Comparative Analysis of Cask Material from Late Sixteenth Through Early Nineteenth Century Shipwrecks

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kimberly M. Smith (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: This thesis examined cask material, including cask staves, heads, hoops, bungs and other components that casks consist of, recovered from 13 eighteenth century, three nineteenth century, one seventeenth, and two sixteenth century shipwrecks in an effort to discern a pattern in the types of cask material recovered within different types of vessels (e.g. pirate, merchant, and naval). Literature reviews were conducted and numerous archaeological, anthropological, and historical journals; namely, the International Journal for Nautical Archaeology, Historical Archaeology, The Australian Journal of Historical Archaeology were consulted. Published and unpublished theses and dissertations, proceedings from maritime and historical archaeological conferences for reports on shipwrecks containing cask material, and Parks Canada and National Park Service publications were also reviewed. Cask materials were studied and compared using bar graphs, histograms, and pie charts. Several potential patterns were identified, but none were definitive. This was not because they may not exist, but rather due to the inconsistent reporting methods creating a lack of available data to conduct comparative analysis. The inconsistent nature of the data obtained influenced the need to establish a standard reporting method. The final product of this research was the introduction of a standard reporting method and associated terminology and reporting forms. While the data set was too inconsistent to make conclusive statements, this type of comparative analysis should begin to establish a framework for the interpretation of cask materials from future excavations.  

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2009
Anthropology, Archaeology, Barrels, Staved Containers, Shipwrecks, Maritime Cultural Material, Eighteenth Century, Casks

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