Sunday, June 3, 2012

Ferriby 1 Replica Under Construction

In my previous post, about a project to reconstruct the Dover Bronze Age Boat, I mistakenly included a time-lapse video showing the coincidentally simultaneous construction of a different bronze age boat. I have removed it from that post and am including it here. The boat being replicated here is the Ferriby 1 boat. 

Below the video, I quote a note that I received from Paul Harry, the videographer, with more details on the project.

This build is taking part in Falmouth (Cornwall UK) and is being run by the University of Exeter. We have a professional boatbuilder in charge of what is now 30 ish volunteers
 This archeological experiment is to see if we can build a full size 56' (approx) replica Bronze Age Boat vessel  based on the remains that were found at North Ferriby on the Humber Foreshore between 1937 and 1963.
 My responsibility in the project is to time lapse record the process from start to finish as well as to gain a few blisters from adzing in the process.
 What you can see in the video is the progress made during the first month carving out the keel sections. The one on the right will be the FWD section of the keel section and the one on the left the aft section.
 As far as we can, we are using authentic tools, with adzes and axes with bronze heads and apart from the odd spirit level and hammer we seem to be succeeding.
 When each of the keel sections are carved, planks will be wedged out of another tree and these will be stitched with Yew withies to hold it all together. We will use moss and tallow to form the chalking.
 Please bear in mind, I am just a volunteer and time lapse photographer so am not an expert in this - although we are all learning huge amounts every day.
 The FWD section of the keel is now really taking shape and we have today started to carve in the Curve for the Bow.  I will put a few photographs in the next video to show the progress. I expect the next video to be available on about the 10th June and will continue to produce a monthly time lapse for the duration of the project. (About 5 - 7 months)
Discovered decades before the Dover Bronze Age Boat, Ferriby 1 was similar in that it was a sewn-timber craft whose method of construction was somewhere between a dugout and a plank-built boat. Rather than riving narrow planks and fastening them to each other or to an underlying framework, tree trunks were carved to the desired cross-sectional shapes and then sewn together with yew withies, fastening being aided with the use of wedges driven between cleats that were left standing proud of the inside surfaces when they were hewn to shape. There were, however, significant differences in the shapes of the "planks" and the details of their attachment, and especially in the way the ends were closed in.
Ferriby 1 as found. Click images to enlarge.

Ferriby was also a more complete artifact, so the team working on that replica has less to guess about. Its ends, in particular, were both more complete and less unusual in their design, so the Ferriby replica seems to stand a better chance of being both accurate and seaworthy. And, it must be noted, the Ferriby replica is full-size, while the Dover  Boat replica is half-size.
Ferriby 1 reconstruction