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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 June 2006, 08:28 GMT 09:28 UK
Medieval ship's recovery on show
Timbers being examined
Every timber is being examined by experts
The latest work on the recovery of a medieval ship uncovered in Newport is going on public display for the first time since last summer.

The ship was found buried in the banks of the River Usk as workers dug the foundations of the city's new arts centre in August 2002.

It has since been removed timber by timber, and experts are examining and recording the pieces.

Earlier this year a French silver coin was found inside one of the timbers.

On Sunday, the doors of the storage unit where the timbers of the ship are being kept in tanks of water will be open to the public, who will be shown the work taking place on the vessel.

The 15th Century coin, which experts think was new and intended to be a good luck charm, will be on display. There are also guided tours on how the 1,700 timbers of the ship are being recorded and analysed using digital technology.

The coin was found embedded in the ship's keel
The coin will be on display during the open day

The estimated 25 tonnes of waterlogged timbers are each being analysed using technology that will allow the team to rebuild a virtual ship on the computer screen without having to handle the large, heavy and fragile timbers.

The Newport ship is the most complete surviving 15th Century vessel discovered in recent years. It was found on the banks of the river during the construction of The Riverfront arts centre.

In February, a coin, wrapped in tarred caulking, was discovered in one of the wooden timbers.

The coin has been identified as a petit blanc of the Dauphin Louis de France, who became Louis XI in 1461. It was minted in the town of Crémieu between 1440 -1456.

The discovery meant the restoration team, who already knew the ship was abandoned on wooden struts around 1468, can calculate the ship's working life and work out it was probably built in France

In December the restoration project received a grant of almost £800,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

It will eventually be displayed in the Riverfront centre.

Experts working on the ship
The ship is one of the most important finds of recent times

Toby Jones, one of the project officers involved in the restoration, said: "We received substantial heritage lottery funding which has meant we could get more digital devices and were able to triple the team so we are now recording the timbers as fast as we can.

"The appearance of the ship will be largely similar to what people saw last year but we are going to be showing the coin - although it is quite tiny.

"And we have got guided tours so people can learn about all the stages of the work we are doing," he added.

The open day between 1100 BST and 1600 BST on Sunday at the Ship Centre, Unit 22, Maesglas industrial estate, Newport, includes a medieval fair and other entertainment.




SEE ALSO:
Skeleton under ship is Iron age
05 Dec 05 |  South East Wales
Budget worries over medieval ship
15 Feb 05 |  South East Wales
Medieval ship's 'pirate' past
01 Feb 04 |  Wales


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