One is believed to be an archer high in the Atlas Mountains to the north Africa, and another may have been a carpenter who grew up in southwestern Spain. Others came from closer to home, perhaps the bustling ports of the English West or the Thames Estuary.
The most in-depth study to date of a group of men who drowned when Henry VIII’s favorite warship, the Mary Rose, sunk off Portsmouth provided new insight into the crew composition and diverse nature of society in Tudor England.
By combining evidence of where the men’s remains were found in the ship when they came to the surface with a cutting-edge analysis of their teeth, the researchers were able to observe the lives of eight deceased crew members near of five centuries. since.
Alexzandra Hildred, chief of research and curator of ammunition and human remains at the Mary Rose Trust, said the number of items recovered from the ship that were not made in England had suggested some of the crew were foreigners.
“However, we never expected this diversity to be so rich,” she said. “This study transforms our perceived ideas about the makeup of the nascent English navy.”
The Mary Rose sank on July 19, 1545 during the Battle of the Solent with the loss of most of her 415 crew.
In 1982, the ship was lifted and the remains of at least 179 crew members were found, along with thousands of items ranging from weapons to tools and games.
The excellent preservation of the men’s skeletal remains and the knowledge of the precise time and circumstances of their deaths gave scientists the opportunity to delve into the history of the crew.
For this latest study, researchers at Cardiff University, the Mary Rose Trust and the British Geological Survey used a technique called multisotope analysis on teeth to determine where eight crew members spent their early years.
Four of them have been nicknamed the Archer, Cook, Officer and Commissioner due to where they were found in the ship or items found nearby. They and a fifth – known as the Young Sailor – were almost certainly from Britain.
The archer may have come from a port in southwest England, such as Plymouth in Devon or Fowey in Cornwall, and the cook is believed to come from a coastal area in the west of the country. The officer could have grown up in the southern end of the Midlands or Wiltshire, while the Purser could have been raised on the banks of the Thames Estuary.
As it was revealed two years ago, the young sailor was also West Country and believed to have been of African heritage.
Mary Rose never ventured beyond British coastal waters, but three of the eight crew members studied almost certainly grew up in more southerly climates.
One of the crew is known as the gentleman because his remains were found near a chest containing a carved bone panel similar to those produced in northern Italy in the 14th and 15th centuries . Researchers believe it may have come from the Mediterranean coast.
Objects found in the carpenters’ cabin, including Spanish coins and Spanish-style tools, suggested that at least one was from the Iberian Peninsula. Analysis of the remains of the seventh man, who was found near the hut, suggests he came from inside the southwest Spain.
The eighth crew member is known as the Royal Archer because he had a leather wrist guard bearing the symbol of a pomegranate, associated with Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII. It is now believed to be from the Atlas Mountains or possibly Spain.
Richard madgwick, from the School of History, Archeology and Religion at Cardiff University, said: “We used five isotope methods in all to provide information on geology, coastal proximity, climate and diet. We already know quite a bit about these characters in terms of profession, etc., so this study pieced together the biographies in unparalleled detail.
Mary Rose Had a Multi-Ethnic Crew, Study Finds | Archeology
Source link Mary Rose Had a Multi-Ethnic Crew, Study Finds | Archeology