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Coast without ships (?) –Ships and shipping during the first millennium AD in the southern North Sea region.

The German North Sea coast of the first millennium AD was divided by intertidal channels and river estuaries. Finds of foreign goods from settlements and trading centres do confirm long-distance trade with other regions already early in the first millennium. However, the infrastructural foundations for life and trade in this region are scarcely known. Watercraft seem to be the logical tool to secure mobility and the transportation of goods in this environment but this technological base for functioning fluvial-maritime infrastructure in this region have yet not been in the focus of research.

The aims of this project, which was realized with funding from Pro-Niedersachsen of the Ministry for Research and Culture, is the systematic recording and analyses of watercraft and their remains from the German North Sea coast dating to the first millennium AD and their integration into the proto-historical context of this region and their potential areas of contact. The project is focussing on objects in storage and archives of the museums and agencies for archaeology in Lower Saxony and the verification of reported finds on site. The goal is to close a research-gap in nautical archaeology and to contribute to the reconstruction of the fluvial-maritime infrastructure of the first millennium AD in the southern North Sea area