A few folk have asked if there were artifacts found with the original boat. Sadly there were very few and those mostly fragmentary. The boat had clearly been pulled up out of the river to a marshy area and partly dismembered before sinking into the archaeological record. One artifact we do need is paddles. It is thought the side planks of this type of boat are not strong enough for oars and few bronze age paddles have been found. There is a bronze age oar from Canewdon in Essex, a good number of Neolithic paddles and a set of paddles from the Iron Age Hjortspring boat. From this evidence we came up with a range of possible paddle designs and we have a gorgeous straight grained ash log to make them from. Here I am starting the split.
And our apprentice Rachel following in with wooden wedges to open the split up.
The split opening nicely.
The last fibres hanging on.
Richard severing the last fibres. The loose strop around the log stops it suddenly rolling apart as it opens up, 1/4 of a ton of log can move quickly and crush a leg.
Once the first split is done further splits are easy, we keep splitting in half until we have a paddle sized blanks.
One of our French partners Philippe Michele came to visit for the day and do some hewing, I showed him how to hew a paddle, just like a big spoon really.
and as part of the finished display they wanted a mock up of what a full sized boat would look like so we set up a plank and with a bit of photoshop work to double the length this will hopefully do the job.