A man has found the remains of a sword from the 335-year-old wreck of a former pirate ship.
It is the fourth find by Robert Felce of the site at Rocky Dollar Cove in Gunwalloe, on Mount & # 39; s Bay near Helston, Cornwall.
In previous years, he collected the remains of three hand grenades from the 17th-century wreck of the ship Schiedam.
This time he fell on a rocky relic that revealed a heavily corroded iron blade on the inside, wide enough to be of a sword or sword.
Discovery: Mr. Felce's discovery is a rocky relic that revealed a heavily corroded iron blade on the inside, wide enough to be of a sword or a sword used aboard the Schiedam
It takes a bit of imagination to visualize the remains – just like any metal object that spends a considerable amount of time in the sea gets entangled in a deposit of sediment.
& # 39; I think it's probably a machete. They were considered the pre-eminent sword of sailors in the 17th century. They had a single cutting edge with a slightly curved blade that looks like what we see in the repaired piece, & said Mr. Felce.
The Schiedam was a Dutch merchant ship that was captured in August 1683 by Barbary pirates for Gibraltar.
The ship was subsequently captured by the Royal Navy and transferred to the English colony in Tangier as a transport ship.
When the colony was abandoned a year later, Schiedam was loaded with weapons, including cannons, muskets, grenades, horses and other equipment, together with families and soldiers of civilians.
After a storm from the evacuation fleet, the Schiedam was destroyed in April 1684 off the coast of Cornwall.
& # 39; The item I found on the beach has been identified as the remains of a 335-year-old sword. It was found in three pieces and lay in a mud close to the low tide, almost covered with sand, & Mr. 39 added.
& # 39; Because the shape of the concretion was rounded off, it looks like it has rolled into the site and then broken on the protruding rock with the action of the waves. This may have been a relatively short time before he was happily seen in a sandy street. & # 39;
Weapon: Experts believe that the remains come from a coat rack, which was regarded by seamen in the 1600s as the ultimate sword. The width of the blade is approximately five centimeters.
Treasure Hunt: The find was dug up at Land's End – especially at Rocky Dollar Cove in Gunwalloe, on Mount's Bay near Helston, Cornwall
He added: As you would expect with such an object, probably from the Schiedam shipwreck in 1684, age and the action of the sea have taken its toll. Most of the leaves are corroded or missing.
& # 39; However, there is enough of the original iron blade to indicate the shape of the blade in a cross section close to the hilt. The width of the blade is approximately five centimeters or two inches.
& # 39; The entire length of the blade might have been more than 60 centimeters or two feet long and would probably have been kept in good condition by the original owner who could have been a sailor, a soldier or even a North African pirate .
& # 39; Looking at the void in the concrete and remaining ferro-corrosion, it does indeed look like the profile and length of a piece of forged blade, probably a sword or saber as opposed to a knife, dagger or bayonet-like blade.
& # 39; Within days of the wreck, the government tried to get back as much of the cargo as possible, after which the ship was left to the sea. & # 39;
As you would expect with such an & # 39; n item, probably from the Schiedam shipwreck in 1684, age and the action of the sea have taken its toll. Most of the leaves are corroded or missing
The sword was found in three pieces and lay in a gorge close to the low water level, almost covered with sand. Because the shape of the concretion was rounded off, it looks as if it had rolled into the site and then broken on the protruding rock with the action of the waves
& # 39; Early inventory searches of items previously recovered from the site indicate that although much larger weapons and war weapons were recovered as salvage, the find is quite rare for such an item from this time.
& # 39; Nothing was heard about the ship until 1971 when it was exposed on the seabed, spotted by diver Anthony Randall and captured, before it disappeared under the sand again.
& # 39; The location of the wreck was subsequently designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 and has occasionally produced items that have been washed ashore. & # 39;
During the last two years, divers Mark Milburn and David Gibbins of Cornwall Maritime Archeology have visited the site, which is often covered with sand, and filmed the exposed wreck site that has shown more of the cargo on the seabed.
As a planned wreck, any remains of the site are protected and Robert said his sword is registered with the recipient of wrecks.
Location, location, location: In previous years, he has collected the remains of three hand grenades from the 17th-century wreck of the ship Schiedam, near Cornwall.
WHAT WAS THE SCHIEDAM?
De Schiedam was originally a Dutch merchant who was sailing from the Netherlands.
It was conquered in 1683 by pirates from Spain, sailing with a load of wood, with the crew enslaved.
But soon afterwards the ship was captured by a Royal Navy ship under the command of Captain Cloudesley Shovell, who brought it to Tangier.
At the time, Tangier was purchased by King Charles II as a dowry with his Portuguese wife, but had been abandoned by the English because of the threat of the Moors.
When the ship collapsed in April 1684, it was part of a fleet of ammunition, tools, horses and people from Tangier, the port of present-day Morocco.
It was driven by storm into the rocks of Cornwall, with the cargo, sails and cables looted by the locals.
It lay untouched for centuries on the seabed off the coast of Cornwall before it was discovered by divers in 1971.
But the shifting sands of the bay reclaimed the wreck and it was lost again.
Since then it has been designated as a protected wreck and has been uncovered in 1998, until it was restored by sand for years to the beginning of this year.
A video set by diver David Gibbins shows the wreck being investigated on the seabed of Cornwall.
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