From the thirteenth to the sixteenth century an important part of the economy in northwestern Europe was based on trade in the Hanseatic League. The main means of transport consisted of ships, mainly cogs. The importance of this type of ship was already apparent from medieval documents, miniatures and other sources. However, until the mid-twentieth century, no material remains of such ships were known. Results from archaeological excavations of shipwrecks had to be awaited for greater clarity on the construction, technology and appearance of these ships.
One of the world’s largest collections of medieval shipwrecks emerged after the Second World War during the partial reclamation of the IJsselmeer lake (the former Zuiderzee inlet) in the Netherlands, where three polders were created from 1942 onwards. During these works, hundreds of shipwrecks from the period between 1250 and 1900 were discovered, about twenty of these being cogs. The first cog was excavated in 1944. The famed cog, with its remarkable construction and the ingenious manner in which the seams between the planks were made watertight using moss, laths and iron clamps, clearly demanded an in-depth study. The Netherlands were an ideal place to start, as more than half of all the cog wrecks in Europe have been found, (partially) excavated and studied in the Low Countries.
Maritime archaeologist Karel Vlierman has excavated shipwrecks all his working life. He dedicated himself to the research of these ships, including two cogs found at Doel near Antwerp and the recently uncovered cog from the river IJssel near Kampen. His research of more than twenty years has resulted in a monograph of over 950 richly illustrated pages, together with some 70 large technical drawings of all the investigated cogs and their reconstructions.
The monograph and the folder with the 70 technical drawings - in A1 and A2 format - together come in a fine slipcase.
More information and a peek at the content can be found here ... and you can also have a look at one of the annex drawings here ...