A shrimp fishing crew made an unusual catch earlier this week when they pulled up a 17th century wooden head that could have been part of a large ship’s adornments.
On Monday morning, the fishermen caught the head, which was in perfect condition, in their nets while fishing off the coast of the Wadden island of Texel. Crew member Victor Ayal shared the discovery on Twitter, sparking a lively debate about its possible origins, which ranged from Viking work to Northern European shipbuilders.
However, archaeologist Michiel Bartels believes the head dates from the 17th century. The man’s Frygian hat, which became a symbol of freedom during the 80 Years’ War, is one of the clues.
‘In the 17th century, the Dutch depicted the freedom fighters of the time wearing this type of hat as a sign of regaining their independence from Spain,’ he told the Leeuwarder Courant, a local newspaper.
The head is made of oak, a very strong material that is susceptible to being eaten by shipworm, which are abundant in the Wadden Sea.
‘They could have devoured this head in two years, but it was stuck in the sea floor and they couldn’t get to it,’ explained Bartels.
The fishermen, who named the head ‘Barry’ for unknown reasons, have stated that the site may yield more finds. ‘Who knows, we could find an entire ship,’ Ayal said.
Source: Dutch News