You are here

Excavation of Dutch VOC ship the Rooswijk on National Geographic

Friday, August 17, 2018 - 19:11

The first episode of a new series of 'Drain The Oceans' on National Geographic literally dives into the remains of the Dutch VOC ship the Rooswijk. The ship sank in 1740 in the English Channel off the coast of England. Amongst the finds from the wreck are a large amount of silver coins.

By collecting the coins and mapping the wreck site, a team of Dutch and English researchers discover how smuggling money on the long journey to the colonies was common practice in the Golden Age.

Martijn Manders of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) led the expedition to the Rooswijk and can be seen in the episode of 'Drain The Oceans'. Manders: "The excavation of the Rooswijk was an exceptional journey back in time in one of the most difficult places to conduct archaeology: the Goodwin Sands. 'Drain The Oceans' shows that complexity in a fantastic way.’

Matthias van Rossum of the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam can also be seen in the episode. Van Rossum is a VOC expert and investigates the smuggling practices. Van Rossum: "It is precisely the combination of historical and archaeological research that gives us insight in the operation and widespread character of this silver smuggling."

After the success of specials like 'Drain Alcatraz' and 'Drain The Titanic', the series 'Drain The Oceans' will be on display for the first time on National Geographic. Eight episodes zoom in on special wreck locations and uncover the secrets of the wreck and the seabed with the help of the latest sonar technology.

'Drain The Oceans', starting on Sunday 19 August at 22:30 on National Geographic.

Trailer Sunken Treasures, Drain the Oceans