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«A Dissertation by KROUM NICKOLAEV BATCHVAROV Submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies of Texas A&M University in partial fulfillment of the ...»

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THE KITTEN SHIPWRECK:

ARCHAEOLOGY AND

RECONSTRUCTION OF A

BLACK SEA

MERCHANTMAN

A Dissertation

by

KROUM NICKOLAEV BATCHVAROV

Submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies of Texas A&M University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

August 2009 Major Subject: Anthropology

THE KITTEN SHIPWRECK:

ARCHAEOLOGY AND

RECONSTRUCTION OF A

BLACK SEA

MERCHANTMAN

A Dissertation by

KROUM NICKOLAEV BATCHVAROV

Submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies of Texas A&M University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

Approved by:

Chair of Committee, Kevin J. Crisman Committee Members, Cemal Pulak Donny Hamilton William Bryant Head of Department, Donny Hamilton August 2009 Major Subject: Anthropology iii

ABSTRACT

The Kitten Shipwreck: Archaeology and Reconstruction of a Black Sea Merchantman.

(August 2009) Kroum Nickolaev Batchvarov, B.A., Park University;

M.A., Texas A&M University Chair of Advisory Committee: Dr. Kevin J. Crisman In the early 1980s Bulgarian archaeologists of the newly established Centre for Underwater Archaeology at Sozopol discovered the remains of a post-medieval ship in the southern Bay of Kitten, in the lee of Cape Urdoviza. Between 2000 and 2003, the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University and a team from the Bulgarian Centre for Underwater Archaeology returned to the site to complete the first excavation of a post-medieval shipwreck in the Black Sea. The well-preserved vessel, lost in the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Selim III (1789-1807), featured constructional characteristics seen in Iberian shipbuilding tradition, such as scarfed floors and futtocks and filling pieces between the frames.

Analysis of the Kitten ship permitted the author to reconstruct the whole-molding process used by the shipwright to build the vessel. The futtock-floor hook-scarphs appear to be the identifying part of the molding process. Morphologically identical scarfs

–  –  –

Yassiada (16th century) and Sardineax (17th century), which suggests that the Kitten ship is a very late example of a Mediterranean-wide shipbuilding tradition that developed in the Middle Ages and from which the Atlantic vessel descended. It also points that the Black Sea maritime culture was an integral part of Mediterranean seafaring tradition.

The dissertation offers an overview of the artifact assemblage raised from the Kitten shipwreck. Fragments of an iconostas prove that at the time of sinking the vessel was operated by Christians. The smoking paraphernalia found on the wreck provides opportunity to correct the dating of some pipe bowl types proposed by previous scholars.

Personal belongings open a window into the life of the crew of a Black Sea merchantman. Although the ethnicity of the crew cannot be determined at this time, a group of copper galley ware suggests that they may have been Bulgarian. An unsolved mystery is presented by the presence of a navigational instrument, probably an octant, on

–  –  –

Dr. Kevin Crisman, Chair of my Committee, was – as always – a mountain of support and encouragement throughout the different stages of this project. Without him, the excavation of the Kitten shipwreck would never have happened. I am much the richer for having met Dr. Crisman and for having studied under him! Without the educational experience of the 1998 field season in Lake Champlain, I would not have been able to undertake the Kitten shipwreck excavation. He and Dr. Fred Hocker taught me not only the techniques of hull recording and reconstruction, but, much more importantly, taught a philosophy, an approach to this field of research. My debt to them is immense and can only be acknowledged, never repaid. I was extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to study under professors of their caliber. My time at the Nautical Archaeology Program was not only among the happiest times of my life, but also the most enlightening period of it, thanks to Dr. Crisman, Dr. Hocker and last, but certainly not least, Dr. John McManamon. These gentlemen enriched me beyond what words can describe. Their friendship is very dear to me!

I would like to thank the members of my committee, Dr. Cemal Pulak, Dr. Donny Hamilton and Dr. William Bryant for their generous help and encouragement. I am particularly grateful to Dr. Pulak for all he has done for me over the years. This

–  –  –

I am very grateful to my friends Dr. John McManamon, Dr. Fred Hocker, Mr. Mark Polzer and Mr. Troy Nowak for joining me in this adventure. I thank them for their trust in me, for their contributions and advise. I sincerely hope that one day we shall excavate another shipwreck together! Dr. McManamon suffered through reading an early draught of this dissertation. I cannot thank him enough for this act of heroism! He has been the greatest of friends over the years.





The late Dr. Ivan Ivanov, Director of the Varna Museum of Archaeology, was a gracious host to our reconnaissance crew in 1999. My co-director, Dr. Kalin Porozhanov, Research Secretary of the Institute of Thracology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, was a gracious and deeply respected colleague. His great good humor, encouragement and authority were greatly beneficial to the expedition. Through the unrelenting efforts of Ms. Hristina Angelova, a small museum opened in Kitten, where most of the finds from the expedition are now displayed! There are not many projects that end up having their own museum!

A big Thank You is due to Dr. Georgy Mavrov for conserving the artifact assemblage from the wreck, practically donating most of his labor and time! Mr. Milen Marinov, a conservator with the Varna Museum of Archaeology, joined us in the 2003 season and undertook all our field conservation, donating his time. I am very grateful to him and only wish he had joined us earlier. Through the campaign seasons, Captain Petar Petrov

–  –  –

campaigns Mr. Rumen Zhelezarov, a NAUI instructor, served as our Diving Safety Officer and trained nearly half the Bulgarian participants in this project. Mr.

Zhelezarov’s diving school is now located on the helicopter landing pad, where once stood our base. Rumen was one of the most reliable and steady participants in this project.

Most of the work force for the project was provided by archaeology students from New Bulgarian University, Sofia. The contribution of Stanislav Bonev, Anita Dotzeva, Mr.

Yavor Ivanov, Ivelina Petkova, Miroslav Todorov, Dimiter Vassilev is gratefully acknowledged. Here is the place to acknowledge also the participation of three Macedonian students in the project: Valentina Todorovska and Sarita Karpuzova and Goran Sanev. The bulk of the research presented below, was undertaken in the years 2005-2008. Many people generously shared their knowledge and time with me, and helped me in many other ways. Meglena Parvin found, copied and sent me enormous quantity of articles, of the existence of which, I was blissfully unaware. Debbie Cvikel arranged for the successful reading of the stamps on pipe bowls raised from the Kitten shipwreck.

I am very grateful to the Institute of Nautical Archaeology! The INA Archaeological Committee took a risk in entrusting me with this project and I thank them for the trust!

The financial support of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology in the first two seasons

–  –  –

remembered with gratitude. RPM Nautical Foundation was an extremely generous sponsor of the Kitten Shipwreck Excavation. Thank you! The National Geographic Council for Exploration has always been a generous supporter of INA projects. The Kitten Shipwreck Excavation benefitted from the Council’s generosity and vision, too, through their grant #7385-02. Thank you!

My vocabulary is too poor to properly thank Mr. John De Lapa for his exceptional generosity towards me, for his trust in me and my work. Maecenates like the Medici made the Italian Renaissance possible. If the world is ever to live through a new Renaissance era, it would be through the generosity of patrons like Mr. De Lapa. The completion of the excavation and, now, the analysis of the Kitten shipwreck made possible only through his exceptional, unparalleled bigheartedness! My obligation to Mr.

De Lapa is enormous and I shall never be able to properly thank him! Only through his generosity have I been enabled to complete my doctoral studies. Here I would like also to thank Dr. Robert Walker who helped facilitated the administering of the fellowship.

Last, but far from least, I want to thank my family. My parents taught me to love the sea, archaeology and history and were the best possible friends. I want to thank Theodora for teaching me what little I know of Photoshop and photography, for helping with

–  –  –

Abstract

DEDICATION

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF FIGURES

LIST OF TABLES

CHAPTER

I INTRODUCTION

–  –  –

The Ship’s Backbone: Keel, Stem and Sternpost

Framing Timbers

Keelson, Sister Keelsons and Mast Step

Stringers and Ceiling Planks

Deck Beam

Planking

Materials

Conclusion

IV RECONSTRUCTION OF THE KITTEN SHIP

–  –  –

Hydrostatical Analysis

Measurement System

Designing the Kitten Ship

Further Research

Conclusion

V HYPOTHETICAL RECONSTRUCTION OF THE RIG

Literature Overview

Archaeological Evidence for the Rig of the Kitten Ship

Basis for the Reconstruction of the Rig

Spar Dimensions

Standing Rigging

Running Rigging

Handling of the Lateen Rig

Conclusions

VI ARTIFACTS FROM THE KITTEN SHIPWRECK

Ceramics

Copper Utensils

Wooden Spoons

Coins and Tokens

Carved Wooden Plaques

Personal Effects

Clay Pipes and Smoking Paraphernalia

Navigational Equipment

Miscellaneous

Conclusions

VII CONCLUSION

REFERENCES

–  –  –

2 Map of the Bay of Kitten

3 Location of the Kitten shipwreck, the Early Bronze Age settlement and the base camp

4 The dark areas show the Bow square and Trench F at the end of the 2000 season

5 The Bow Square, 2000.

–  –  –

14 The Sternpost

15 Y-shaped floor timber in the bow

–  –  –

18 The Midship frame consists of a large floor timber and futtocks fastened to either side of it

–  –  –

20 The top of the keelson in the bow section

21 Stanchion mortise with square imprint visible

22 Sister keelsons and mast step

–  –  –

24 Starboard side with stringers and filling timbers

25 A part of the outer footwaling strake which may have formed part of a breasthook

26 Transversal ceiling planks in center right of the photograph.

27 Deck beam

28 Reconstructed lines of the Kitten Ship

29 Longitudinal section of the hull.

30 Frame 26 as recorded

31 Frame E as recorded

32 Frame at section 13, as recorded

33 Midship frame as recorded.

34 Reconstructed midship frame

35 Narrowing and rising of Frame M

36 Narrowing and rising of Frame 13

–  –  –

38 Narrowing and rising at Frame 7

39 On the left is an experimental mezzaluna based on different numbers of frames included in the calculation

40 Aft mezzarola

41 This mezzarola fits the rising forward

42 One of the dried out blocks, recovered in the 1980s

43 The mast step, supported by the sister-keelsons

44 Small block recovered from the Bow square in 2000

45 Double block

46 One of the larger single blocks

47 Toggle in situ

48 Leather pieces with traces of sewing

49 Extreme mast rake on a lateen-rigged vessel

50 Fishing boats from Sozopol, c. 1912

51 Sefer boats and a mauna at the quay in Sozopol, c. 1912

A mahone from the early 20th century

53 A lateener with heavily raked mast

54 Detail from an engraving by Melling, showing a two-masted lateener c. 1819

55 Detail from a Melling engraving, c. 1819

56 Reconstruction of the Kitten vessel’s rig

–  –  –

58 Diagram of a lateen rig

59 Settee rig as carried by Alexandrian feluccas

60 Sketch of a ghaissa rig, sailing on a wind

61 A passenger alamana, with a stub mast and almost gunter-like lateen sail 211 62 A mahone with lowered yard for passing under bridges

63 Small lateeners on the starboard tack

64 KT050

65 Inkpots. KT079 on the left and KT080 on the right

66 KT112, an oinochoe-type jug from the stern cabin

67 Ceramic tiles from the stern cabin

68 KT082 Coffee cup

69 KT006 Sahan

70 KT067 Sahan with hatched decoration on the rim

71 KT065 A shallow and thin-walled plate

72 KT066 A tava

73 KT007 Tas or tazza

74 KT063 Lid, probably of basin KT064

75 KT064 Basin

76 KT011 Siniya or carrying tray

77 KT119 Copper brazier

–  –  –

79 KT026 Type I spoon with hexagonal handle

80 KT101 An accounting token struck by Ernst Lauer

81 KT102 An accounting token struck by Johan Christian Reich.................. 254 82 KT099 An Ottoman parah coin from the reign of Selim III



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