At our last meeting before Christmas Dr Paul Bennett, Director of Canterbury Archaeological Trust, gave members a fascinating insight into the discovery and the story of the subsequent conservation of the Dover Bronze Age boat.
He explained that in September 1992 he, and several other archaeologists, were in the last weeks of their excavations alongside the civil engineers who were constructing the Dover to Folkestone A20 road link when a small portion was revealed at the bottom of a deep trench.
His excellent slides taken at the time showed the final emergence and uncovering of what was finally found to be a large portion of a middle Bronze Age boat dated to about 1550BC.
He went on to explain that its construction comprised oak planks sewn together with yew lashings, a technique which has a long tradition in British prehistory and a rare example of one of a very few ever discovered in Britain.
Approximately 9.5m of the craft was finally recovered which probably represented about two thirds of the full size of the boat and it was obvious that it had been laid up and partially deconstructed after its long maritime career and possibly used by Bronze Age children as a recreation area.
After extensive conservation with the Mary Rose Trust in Portsmouth it was finally returned in 1998 to a purpose built environmentally controlled gallery at Dover Museum. In 2013 with the support of European funding a half-sized replica of the boat was built and launched and featured in three major exhibitions in France, Belgium and England - see Dover Bronze Age Boat Trust.
Our next meeting will be on Thursday 6th February at the Lower Hall, United Reform Church, High Street, Herne Bay when Margaret Burns will be giving a presentation on introducing the value of Oral History to local historians entitled "Telling Your Own Story".
Doors open at 6.30pm when refreshments, raffle and a bookstall will be available prior to commencement of the evening at 7pm. All are welcome. Members free, visitors £2.
Historical Records Society home page