This article was translated by John R. Bopp
We’ve spoken before about this ship found at the bottom of Newport harbor. This Welsh port city is lucky enough to have one of the best-preserved examples of the great Basque mercantile ships that were among the best ships on the high seas in the Middle Ages in Europe.
And we’ve spoken, many times, about all those stories of Basques you never learn about in school, where our people’s amazing ability is annulled due to the interests of the kingdoms and republics which have ruled over us since the end of the 18th century.
We’ve spoken about the Basque mariners who, thanks to the whales they caught, lit Europe for centuries, and who made codfish one of the basic elements of cuisine on the continent.
We’ve spoken about their naval technology, which was at the forefront of Europe for centuries, and which even today is able to compete in a field as complex as naval construction.
We’ve spoken about how, for centuries, from Newfoundland to the arctic islands of the North Sea, Basques controlled and sailed the whole North Atlantic. Then, they became key players on the voyages of discovery, which broadened the Europeans’ world. They were protagonists aboard Columbus’ ships, as well as in the first European voyages to the Pacific.
The image of the Basque shipwreck, the San Juan, which sank in the waters of Red Bay, is the logo of UNESCO’s Underwater Cultural Heritage.
And still, not long ago, we discussed, tangentially, the amazing story of the clippers, owned by Basque companies and crewed by Basques, headquartered in Liverpool, which joined Europe and the Far East in the 19th century. Curiously, this ships met up with American clippers coming from the other side, which were in large part owned by Basque descendants.
There’s a lot of history we need to gather and discover. These stories, despite their importance, are not part of our collective history as a people, and they should be.
On this occasion, we’re discussing the article published on the phys.org website about the Basque ship that sank in Newport harbor, which gives us new and interesting information about its story.
We’ll leave you with the story of the ship as told on the website of the association that’s bringing it up, and an article from the South Wales Argus which shows us what it looked like and explains how revolutionary it was for its day.
phys.org – 22/6/2018 – Great Britain
New discoveries about a lost ship from Britain’s real ‘Game of Thrones’
A team of maritime historians and archaeologists, led by academics at the University of Bristol, has published compelling new evidence about the remains of the largest and best-preserved late medieval ship ever discovered.
Newport Ship – – Gales
What is the Newport Ship?
The Newport Medieval Ship is a fifteenth century merchant vessel unearthed in the heart of Newport in 2002. Work on the Riverfront arts centre was paused while excavations could take place, and the timbers have since been undergoing a lengthy conservation process so the ship can be displayed to the public.
South Wales Argus – 2/7/2013 – Gales
Drawings show scale of Newport’s medieval ship
Irish shipwright Pat Tanner examined the ship over a six-month period, making drawings in painstaking detail of what she would once have looked like.