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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Old carved vessel found on beach

Southland Museum and Art Gallery education and visitor services co-ordinator Colin Anderson holds part of a carved vessel found on a Southland beach this month.

A conservator will visit Invercargill next month to inspect what is believed to be part a carved vessel found on a Southland beach.

Riverton conservationist Robert Guyton found the piece of wood when walking from Oreti Beach to Riverton.

Southland Museum and Art Gallery historian David Dudfield said the boat was made some time after Europeans arrived in New Zealand.

It had been made by drilling holes into the wood then knocking out the wood between the holes to make a hull, Mr Dudfield said.

It had a hole for a rudder peg so it was likely it could be set on a course when launched, he said.

The age and purpose of the boat were not known but when the conservator visited the museum a lot more could be discovered, including the type of wood used in making the hull, Mr Dudfield said.

Mr Guyton noticed a small wooden object ''about the size of a post box'' at the high tide mark on the beach.

''It was a small, wooden ship carved from a single log. It had been adzed out and had a keel,'' he said.

The vessel could once have had a deck because there were remains of pins embedded in the wood, he said.

Knowing such boats were carved by stranded sealers looking for rescue in pioneer times he decided to carry it back to his Riverton home.

Having already had experience with wooden artefacts, he put the object into a burlap sack and kept it wet when he got home before taking it to the Southland Museum and Art Gallery.

People who found artifacts on the beach should bring them to the museum for identification.

If the artifact turned out to be Maori taonga it was important to recognise the fact because there were processes to follow, Mr Dudfield said.


JayWontdart said...

well done Robert!

robertguyton said...

I spotted it, Matini carried it, Gordon wrote the story and the museum folk will now do the restoration work.
I'd love to know who it was that carved the boat.

Ray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ray said...

Indeed Robert, well spotted and a good catch

Oh and I deleted my first comment for a spelling mistake not because I put something unpleasant about your political views

robertguyton said...

Good to have a man who respects spelling on board, Ray (I was tempted to write 'bored', but that'd be trifling with someone who might gnash his teeth at such flippancy :-)
The finding of the hull was an apolitical event, though I did allude at the time to its similarity to the Good Ship National and it's present lists and low-in-the-water profile. Think she'll sink?
I do.
My wooden boat's not going back on the waves, that's certain, but after its time spent in embalming fluid, may go on display somewhere.

robertguyton said...

Referring to the above comment, it was a bit nautical of me to lever some political sniping out of your words, Ray. I take it all back.