Ria de Aveiro F: A probable early 16th century colonial shipwreck in the Portuguese coast

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The Ria de Aveiro F site was discovered during preventive archaeological works carried out in the scope of the 2002 expansion of Aveiro’s harbour into the Ria de Aveiro, a lagoon system located in northern Portugal which played a great role in the salt trade of the Early Modern period. Despite the global destruction of the context caused by the dredging works, several well preserved structural elements were recovered. They belonged to two ships, a carvel-built one and a clinker-built one. The former features several construction characteristics that are common in the Mediterranean. The latter possibly corresponds to a small support boat. Beside the structural findings, several rigging elements wooden and rope artifacts, some pottery shards, ballast stones and a limestone cannonball were also recovered. The global study of the findings allowed to assign these remains to a chronology around the first half of the 16th century. Wood identification analysis were recently carried out; the results indicate the use of tropical, South American species in the construction of the clinker-built vessel. This data allows us to suggest that this site may belong to an initial phase of the relationship between the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-41
Number of pages34
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Aveiro
  • Shipbuilding
  • 16th century
  • Fittings
  • Rigging


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