Dover boat

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Dover boat in the Dover Museum

The Dover Bronze Age boat (or Dover boat ) found on September 28, 1992 is currently the oldest seagoing boat in Europe. The remains of the boat, made of sewn planks , were discovered during excavation work at the junction of the A20 with the Canal Tunnel , six meters below the streets of the city of Dover in Great Britain . The process of analysis and conservation was completed in 1999.

Dover boat in the Dover Museum

The boat, which was no longer completely recovered, had a remaining length of 9.5 m (originally at least 11.7 m), an approximate width of 2.25 m with a hull height of 0.8 m. It probably weighed around 2.3 tons and dates to the Bronze Age (around 1550 BC)

The boat was divided into 32 pieces during the excavation. The recovered hull has four oak planks . The boat was built from at least three straight grain oak trees that were over 300 years old when they were felled. They came from a dense forest, as only a few side branches had formed. Two planks connected with wooden wedges formed the flat floor. The pieces of wood diverge in a Y-shape at the bow to accommodate a lost end piece. The side planks were sewn with yew branches. The boat, which was clearly in use, had been sealed off by moss and presumably animal fat. The machining marks on its outer bottom surface were worn. This suggests that it had been beached regularly. Originally the boat probably had more side planks.

Rowed by a crew of 16, the boat could easily reach five knots (eight km / h) and was seaworthy up to wind force four and waves one meter high. There are no references to a mast. It appears suitable to transport a cargo over a moderately long distance in not too harsh weather. On a good day, with good tides , it could travel perhaps 30 nautical miles. A small piece of raw slate found on the bottom of the boat was analyzed from Kimmeridge Bay 160 miles west .


  • Peter Clark (Ed.): The Dover Bronze Age Boat in context. Society and water transport in prehistoric Europe. Oxbow Books, Oxford et al. 2004, ISBN 1-84217-139-9 .
  • Peter Clark (Ed.): The Dover Bronze Age Boat. English Heritage, London 2013, ISBN 978-1-84802-142-6 ( digitized version ) (not evaluated).

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Coordinates: 51 ° 7 ′ 25 ″  N , 1 ° 18 ′ 51 ″  E