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Ballast brick from the wreck site of the BATAVIA

Date: Pre 1629
Overall: 35 x 186 x 72 mm, 960 g
Medium: Clay
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Transferred from Australian Netherlands Committee on Old Dutch Shipwrecks
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Object Name: Brick
Object No: 00048542
Related Place:Western Australia, Nederland,

User Terms

    A ballast brick excavated fron the wreck site of the BATAVIA. Architectural bricks such as this were used as ballast during transportation and would have then been used in building projects in Batavia.
    SignificanceThis brick is associated with the oldest Dutch shipwreck discovered on the Australian coast and part of a collection of ballast bricks that are representative of European presence near the Australian continent in the 17th century.
    HistoryShips from the Netherlands and the VOC were often loaded with what was known as 'paid ballast', such as bricks, on their way to Indonesia or other Dutch outposts. This type of ballast fulfilled the purpose of achieving some financial recompense at the ships destination as Dutch bricks were in demand and known for their high quality. 'Paid ballast' also provided some stability for the ship whilst at sea.

    The BATAVIA was carrying thousands of bricks as ballast which were intended for use in Java on her ill-fated journey in 1629. Some of these bricks that were recovered from the wreck site have been used as part of a memorial built in Geraldton, Western Australia, to those who died as a result of the wreck of the BATAVIA and the subsequent tragedy that occurred after.

    Additional Titles

    Collection title: ANCODS (Australian Netherlands Committee on Old Dutch Shipwrecks) collection

    Assigned title: Ballast brick from the wreck site of the BATAVIA

    Related Sites Beacon Island

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