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MaSS

stepping stones of maritime history

History

The Akerendam left Texel on the 17th of January, 1725, on her maiden voyage to the Dutch East Indies. She took the northern route around Scotland (route achterom) but was struck by a blizzard in the North Sea. She was pushed off course and stranded near Runde Island in Norway. All of her crew members perished. A large portion of the cargo was silver and gold coins which had been produced specifically for inter-Asiatic trading purposes, and Akerendam carried 19 chests of these newly minted coins. The loss of Akerendam was a very large one for the VOC.

The year she sank, locals from Goksøyrs in Norway discovered parts of the wreck and other debris on the beach. Part of the cargo was then salvaged from the wreck itself, and auctioned on the 19th of March 1725, which was only eleven days after Akerendam sank. Among the items auctioned were five of the nineteen chests of coins and barrels of French wine.

Drawing of a model of Akerendam.

Archaeological Description

The wreck site of Akerendam was discovered by amateur divers in July, 1972, at a depth of 12 meters around 100 meters off the shore of Norway. Three divers stumbled upon some coins as well as a cannon. Three weeks later, over 500 kg of coins had been salvaged. In 1973 the Bergen Sjøfartsmuseum did a survey of the wreck site. In 1999, there was a three day expedition that had been initiated by Dutch divers, which resulted in the recovery of one cannon and some cannon balls. These were brought to the Netherlands and restored.
The government of the Netherlands is considered to be the authority of the wreck and the contents, and the site is legally protected. The wreck was destroyed, and no wooden parts of the ship remain, and the artifacts were scattered along the sea floor.

The Runde hoard

Ca 57.000 coins were recovered and examined from the wreck site. The gold coins were preserved very well, although the silver coins were heavily corroded. The coins were found in clusters, and the best specimens were found in the center. The coins found from Akerendam is Norway's largest find of coins. 67.7% of the find went to the finders, 24.7% went to the Norwegian government, and 7% went to the government of the Netherlands. The finders share was sold in Switzerland in 1978. Part of the hoard is on display in Oslo University Coin Cabinet.

Akerendam

Gold coins recovered from the wreck site.

Akerendam

The Runde coin hoard.

 

Akerendam

Research and cleaning coins (Oslo University).

Description

Name: Ackerendam/Ackerdam
Type: Dutch East Indiaman (Spiegelretourschip)
Captain: Nicolas de Roy
Built: 1724
Chamber: Amsterdam
Length: 145 ft (44 m)
Complement: 200
Armament: 40
Tonnage: 850, 425 last
She stranded on 8-3-1725, all 200 crew members perished.

Modern replica of Dutch East Indiaman The Amsterdam.

References

References on line

East Indiaman

Roman structures