ARHA Seminar by Frederick M. Hocker - Current Vasa ResearchAuthor: CSSH
In 1628, the newest and most powerful ship in the Swedish navy, Vasa, sank on its maiden voyage. In 1961, the largely intact hull was successfully raised and refloated, after which a team of archaeologists excavated the interior of the ship, a five-story structure containing over 30,000 artefacts. In many ways, this project established the mental template for what defines a successful nautical archaeology project to both the public and professionals. Since 2003, the Vasa Museum has been engaged in a comprehensive research program to investigate and interpret the find in the broadest possible social, technical, economic and environmental context, and to communicate the results as widely as possible. The interdisiciplinary research strategy combines conventional academic archaeological approaches with textual analysis of the rich documentary records associated with the ship, craft-based technical analysis, experimental archaeology and a wide range of natural science methods. Much of the research is carried out by students in cooperative projects with leading universities in Europe and North America. This lecture will present the current research program and recent results, with some consideration of how the results are being brought to both specialist and general audiences.