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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Artifacts from the Mary Rose

In my last post, I wrote about Carracks--the type of ships that Jacques Cartier sailed in when exploring what is now the area of Newfoundland.

I also mentioned the ship, the Mary Rose, which sank on July 15, 1545 and was discovered and resurrected from the depths in 1982.

This post highlights some of the artifacts from this ship. Its discovery gives modern historians the clearest revelations of day to day Medieval life ever studied. From shoes, to musical instruments, many things can be learned from this incredible find. I am using these artifacts to help me in my research of my book on Jacques Cartier.

A collection of daggers. It's amazing how preserved the hilts are.

 Lantern (above) and candle holder (below lantern). When you realize how much the Tudors relied on fire to see at night it's amazing that more fires didn't occur aboard rocking ships.

A comb and its leather pouch. If you look really close at the right hand side of the fine toothed comb in the first pic above you'll see a 500 year old nit!

Leather bucket.

 Wooden bucket.

Wooden tankard. Sailors were rationed a gallon of beer a day. 

Carpentry tools. Imagine trying to build a ship or home with tools like these.

Rigging blocks and their pulleys. Even some of the rope is preserved. Amazing.

 This is part of an anchor rope. Check out this video to see how huge it is. For those who are landlocked (like me here in Indiana) it's hard to visualize these things in real life. This video was a revelation!
It's been amazing fun researching this book. Now I'm back in the cave putting all the pieces together on paper! When you read the book, you just might see some of the interesting artifacts mentioned here. 


  1. What are your sources?

    1. At the time I wrote this these images were available at


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