Maritime

  • Omeo shipwreck site

    20 Feb 2017

    Coogee Maritime Trail

    Omeo shipwreck site Image copyright WA Museum 

    The Western Australia Museum has worked with the City of Cockburn, Perth NRM and Murdoch University Divers to develop the Coogee Maritime Trail.

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    Article
    Western Australian Museum

  • The de Vlamingh dish: X-Ray Map

    31 Oct 2016

    The de Vlamingh Dish

    In February 1697 the Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh arrived off Shark Bay. On Dirk Hartog Island a landing party found an old flattened pewter dish lying in the sand at the base of a tall wooden post. On the dish was inscribed a record of the first landfall on the Western Australian coast, by the Dutch navigator Dirk Hartog, in 1616. Recognising the significance of the dish, de Vlamingh took it to Batavia (modern Djakarta) and in its place left a dish of his own, nailed to a new post.

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    Article
    Western Australian Museum

  • 19 Oct 2016

    The story of SS Xantho: WA’s First Coastal Steamer

    SS Xantho

    The paddle steamer Xantho, one of the world’s first iron ships, was built in 1848 by Denny’s of Dumbarton in Scotland. Like most 19th century steamships, Xantho was driven by both sails and steam. In 1871, after 23 years of Scottish coastal service, Xantho was sold to Robert Stewart, ‘Metal Merchant’ (scrap metal dealer) of Glasgow. Rather than cut it up for scrap, he removed the old paddle wheel machinery and replaced it with a ten-year-old propeller engine built by the famous naval engineers John Penn and Sons of Greenwich.

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    Article
    Western Australian Museum

  • Dr Jeremy Green and Wendy Van Duivenvoorde after the graduation ceremony.

    19 Sep 2016

    Congratulations Jeremy Green

    On 15 September the Western Australian Museum Head of Maritime Archaeology Jeremy Green was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Western Australia for service to maritime archaeology. He also gave the graduation address on the night for the arts faculty.

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    Article
    Western Australian Museum

  • Underwater gun from HSK Kormoran

    4 May 2015

    HMAS Sydney (II) and the HSK Kormoran survey expedition 4 May 2015

    An expedition to survey the historic World War II shipwrecks of HMAS Sydney (II) and the German raider HSK Kormoran

    The wrecks lie in 2,500 metres of water, 20km apart, about 200km west of Steep Point (Shark Bay). The $2.4 million survey expedition is supported by the Australian Government, Western Australian Museum, Curtin University, DOF Subsea, the Western Australian Museum Foundation, GMA Garnet Group and the Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in WA Torsten Ketelsen, and Prospero Productions. 

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    Video
    Western Australian Museum

  • ROV scanning the HMAS Sydney (II) wreck

    1 May 2015

    HMAS Sydney (II) survey expedition 1 May 2015

    An expedition to survey the historic World War II shipwrecks of HMAS Sydney (II) and the German raider HSK Kormoran

    The wrecks lie in 2,500 metres of water, 20km apart, about 200km west of Steep Point (Shark Bay). The $2.4 million survey expedition is supported by the Australian Government, Western Australian Museum, Curtin University, DOF Subsea, the Western Australian Museum Foundation, GMA Garnet Group and the Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in WA Torsten Ketelsen, and Prospero Productions. 

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    Video
    Danny Murphy

  • Underwater photograph of the James Matthews during archaeological excavations, 1976

    28 Apr 2015

    In-situ preservation of shipwrecks

    Conservation scientists and conservators at the Western Australian Museum conduct research to develop new and improved techniques for ensuring the long-term preservation of our underwater cultural heritage sites. This article focuses on the unique conservation methods applied to the James Matthews shipwreck site.

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    Article
    Western Australian Museum

  • Mack McCarthy presenting at a lecturn

    3 Nov 2014

    Wreck Update: Behind the scenes in Maritime Archaeology

    Presented by Adjunct professor Dr Michael (Mack) McCarthy, Curator, Maritime Archaeology, Western Australian Museum

    Part of the WA Museum’s 2014 In the Wild West Lecture Series.

    Some of Western Australia’s most historically significant maritime sites have had many new and exciting developments happening in the field and behind the scenes. Dutch shipwrecks Batavia, Zeewick, Zuytdorp and Gilt Dragon all have new research unfolding, as does the elusive Aagtkerke.

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    Video
    Morgan Strong

  • Patrick Baker standing at a photography exhibition

    9 Sep 2014

    Patrick Baker: The Evolution of Underwater Photography

    Today, underwater photography is an important aspect of any shipwreck recovery. It allows us to discover the sites without physically going there, records the intimate details of the site for future generations when the wreck may have been moved or suffered further deterioration, and allows scientific study away from the wreck site using high-resolution images.

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    Video
    Western Australian Museum

  • A composite image of the HMAS Sydney wreck on the ocean floor

    4 Nov 2013

    $50,000 grant takes HMAS Sydney 3D imaging project forward

    A $50,000 Lotterywest grant will help the Friends of the Western Australian Museum develop a project to bring the story of HMAS Sydney (II) and HSK Kormoran to a wider audience.

    The Friends of the Museum – a not-for-profit group committed to promoting the development and advancement of the WA Museum – will work with the Museum, its partners and communities close to the event, to scope the potential for significant exhibitions to be created from a project to image the wrecks that is already underway.

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    News
    Niki Comparti

  • Acropora sunset, Abrolhos 1983

    29 Jul 2013

    Patrick Baker: 36 years of shipwreck photography –Gallery 4

    Patrick Baker is the Western Australian Museum's shipwrecks photographer. This series of photo galleries explores his amazing career and catalogues the photos taken between 1970 - 2005. The fourth gallery has a heavy focus on object photography and 18th century Dutch shipwrecks.

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    Photo Galleries
    Morgan Strong

  • Jeremy green sitting in his office

    16 Jul 2013

    Jeremy Green: The Deep-Water Graveyard

    The settlement of Western Australia meant that an increasing number of ships were sailing into port. Some of these ships were incapable of carrying on due to factors like age and storm damage, and so were being abandoned on pristine beaches. This caused unrest within the local community as it ‘didn’t look good’ to have wrecked ships lining the coast.

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    Video
    Western Australian Museum

  • A young scientist, Coral, being interviewed

    11 Jul 2013

    Apothecary Jars from the Batavia and Gilt Dragon

    The Batavia wreck site produced a large collection of medical supplies used by the ship’s surgeon – one of the largest ever found from this period. Coral, an aquatic archaeology student from Texas A&M. University came to Western Australia to study the medical supplies of the Dutch wrecks Batavia and Gilt Dragon (Vergulde Draeck). Her study focused on shipboard medicine from large trading companies of the 17th and 18th centuries.

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    Video
    Western Australian Museum

  • Dr Wendy Van Duivenvoorde standing in front of the Batavia wreck

    8 Jul 2013

    The Mysteries of the Batavia

    The Batavia is housed at the Western Australian Museum’s Shipwreck Galleries, and can tell us a lot about seafaring and shipbuilding in the 17th Century.

    The Batavia is unique. It sank in 1629, right off the Western Australian coast in the Houtman-Abrolhos archipelago. It was the first Dutch East India ship to be lost along this rugged coastline.

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    Video
    Western Australian Museum

  • Patrick Baker standing at a photography exhibition

    5 Jul 2013

    Patrick Baker: Exploring the James Matthews

    The James Matthews was a colonial ship that was wrecked in 1841, about 8 or 9 km from the Fremantle Maritime Museum, at Woodman Point.

    The ship was carrying a group of settlers coming out from the United Kingdom. They were, quite literally, as Patrick Baker points out, ‘on the doorstep of their new home’ when the ship sank.

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    Video
    Western Australian Museum

  • Two men rolling a cannon down a long wooden pier

    1 Jul 2013

    Shipwreck month sets sail

    This month, the Western Australian Museum is celebrating the impressive work of its Maritime Archaeology department during the Month of Shipwrecks.

    At 9:30am every weekday throughout July, a new video, map, mini-site, photo gallery, interview or database will be available exclusively via the Western Australian Museum website.

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    News
    Niki Comparti

  • Document found in the shipwreck of the Sepia being held by white gloves

    1 Jul 2013

    Corioli: The Shipwrecked Sepia

    The Sepia was a three-masted iron sailing barque that wrecked en route to Fremantle, 3km west of Carnac Island. It was carrying general supplies needed for the growing colony.  Corioli has carried out excavations on the site and has found items that reveal information about consumer goods for early colonists, which gives us great insight into their needs and wants.

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    Video
    Western Australian Museum