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Location: Goodwin Sands, Kent
Age / period: 18th century
List entry number: 1000085

Wreck history and loss

The 'Rooswijk' is a vessel of the Dutch East Company (VOC) built in 1737 which stranded on the Goodwin Sands in 1739 while en route from the Texel to the East Indies.

Discovery and investigation

The site was found after several years of documentary research. Following a magnetometer survey on the site, ingots marked 'VOC' (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie) were recovered in 2004. Additional material was recovered in 2005.
Assessment in 2006 recorded that the site consists of two main areas of wreckage. At the stern area, a number of timber structural elements of hull and interior framework were observed, with most being in remarkably good condition. A number of large concretions and groups of iron bars were also located and in many cases these features were noted to be sited on areas of timber.

The site therefore represents archaeological evidence for the practice of large-scale overseas commerce between the Netherlands and Asia during the 18th century and is representative of a famous merchant vessel type. In addition, the quantity and condition of materials recovered from the Rooswijk indicate that large sections of the wreck are buried and preserved to a high degree.

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