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Historical treasure discovered from a Dutch warship that sank 350 years ago


It is the Klein Hollandia, a ship that participated in the important battles of the Second Anglo-Dutch War.

Dutch and British maritime archaeologists have established the identity of the

Klein Hollandia

, a man-of-war built in 1656 that

took part in all the major battles of the Second Anglo-Dutch War

and had been located off the south coast of the United Kingdom by amateur divers.

The print that the divers came across at a depth of 32 meters is that of

a historical treasure

: a beautiful Bellarmine jug decorated with a flower and the face of a bearded man, with a somewhat yellowish color due to the passing of the centuries. , resting on the seabed, near the remains of a bronze cannon from which an eel fish appears.

Around him, the treasure was even bigger: on the sand rested a

large part of the wooden hull, more cannons, pieces of Italian ceramics

, and even some marble tiles that came from the quarries of the Apuan Alps in the northwest of Tuscany, and were destined for the Netherlands, where they were used to build luxury homes.

The date of the year 1670 on a cannon wreck.

"The condition of the wreck is good and could offer a wealth of data on how 17th-century Dutch ships were built and the activities of this warship during its final voyage," admits the Agency for Cultural Heritage, part of the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Netherlands.

a warrior ship

The remains were discovered in 2019 off the south coast of England, but it is not until now that researchers confirm the identity of the ship to the Dutch government: it is the warship

Klein Hollandia

(Little Holland, in Dutch), built in 1656 ( shipwrecked 17 years later), property of the Rotterdam Admiralty and witness to all the important battles of the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-1667), according to experts.

In 1672, the ship was part of Admiral de Haese's squadron escorting Smyrna's fleet as it sailed from the Mediterranean to the English Channel, en route to the Netherlands.

On the Isle of Wight, on the British south coast off Southampton, she was attacked by an English squadron.

A fierce battle broke out on the second day, 23 March, resulting in severe damage to the Klein Hollandia, and the ship's commander, Jan Van Nes, to be killed in action.

The print that the divers came across at a depth of 32 meters is that of a historical treasure: a beautiful Bellarmine jug decorated with a flower and the face of a bearded man, with a somewhat yellowish color due to the passing of the centuries. , resting on the seabed.. EFE/Nautical Archeology Society (NAS)

The ship was boarded and conquered by the English, but soon after, when they tried to tow it to the English coast as a trophy,

it sank with English and Dutch sailors aboard


This surprise action by the small English squadron under the command of Sir Robert Holmes and Sir Frecheville Holles contributed to the start of the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672-1674).

Professional divers and volunteers helped collect underwater evidence to identify the ship, and, over the past year, specialists from Historic England, the Netherlands Agency for Cultural Heritage (RCE) and the Society for Nautical Archeology (NAS) have been working on his identification.

a tangible story

The Klein Hollandia was considered such an important vessel at the time of its discovery that it was granted the highest level of protection under the 1973 Wreck Protection Act, legislation marking its half-century this year, only licensed divers are allowed on the wreck site.

We have been fascinated by the variety of material on the seabed


The impressive amount of wooden hull structure, ship cannons, beautifully cut marble tiles, and pottery finds all point to a late 17th century Dutch ship returning from Italy,” said Mark Beattie Edwards, director of the NAS.

Gunay Uslu, Secretary of State for Culture of the Netherlands, applauded the international cooperation and with the United Kingdom in this type of discoveries and recalled that with the maritime archaeological, cultural and historical investigation of shipwrecks such as the Klein Hollandia, stories come to the surface and tangible remains.

“This provides valuable insights and important perspectives into the shared history of our seafaring nations.

What we have learned about this specific shipwreck provides information for the general discussion about our past and current problems,” added Uslu.

The wreck had first been classified as a seabed “


” during a 2015 hydrographic survey by the UK Hydrographic Office, and now to uncover the story of the sunken vessel, from inquiries yet to come. , will open another fascinating chapter in the long Anglo-Dutch maritime history.


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Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-01-28

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