Rooswijk, a Dutch East India Company ship that sank off the coast of England in 1740 is at high risk and declining due to strong currents and shifting sands. Historic England is providing specialist and research facilities to analyse artefacts recovered during excavations in 2017 and 2018.
|In 1740, the Rooswijk was outward bound for Batavia (modern-day Jakarta) with trade-goods when it sank on the treacherous Goodwin Sands. Now a protected wreck site, the ship's remains lie at a depth of some 20 metres off the Kent coast.
They are owned by the Dutch Government and managed by Historic England on behalf of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
An exploratory study of the Rooswijk wreck cemented the need for urgent excavation. The site is classed as High Risk and Declining on the Heritage at Risk Register.
The #Rooswijk1740 project is funded and led by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (Ministry of Education, Science and Culture), in collaboration with partner Historic England and UK-contractor MSDS Marine.
The artefacts recovered during excavations in 2017 and 2018 have been transported to Historic England’s research facilities at Fort Cumberland, Portsmouth. Historic England scientists, archaeobotanists and marine conservation specialists are analysing finds such as coins, glass beads, wine and gin bottles, plant and insect remains and other unknown materials.