Australia: Shipwrecks of the Roaring Forties

Maritime archaeologists and the National Archives of the Netherlands are cooperating in ‘Shipwrecks of the Roaring Forties’

From 2014 until 2016 ‘Shipwrecks of the Roaring Forties’, an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project, aims to make a significant contribution to the understanding of European activities in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific region during the 17th and 18th centuries, through a unique window into the past provided by maritime archaeological sites.

The project revisited shipwreck sites excavated over 40 years ago – such as the shipwreck of the Batavia – to examine how the approach to maritime archaeological sites has changed over time in terms of new research questions and new technologies. 

Apart from maritime archaeology this project also involves archival sources. The National Archives of the Netherlands (NA) is partner in this project and has delivered scans of ship journals, cargo lists and scans of documents which hold interrogations of the surviving crewmembers – interesting material which will be transcribed and translated this year to broaden the accessibility and research possibilities.

‘Shipwrecks of the Roaring Forties: A Maritime Archaeological Reassessment of Some of Australia's Earliest Shipwrecks’ is funded by an ARC Linkage Project grant (LP130100137).