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Lees Island 5 Logboat


The vessel proved illusive, and was only located some 2 years after the initial detection. This is the image presented on the Burlesques underwater video. Even then we had no idea exactly what we were looking at - some modern wooden structure, like a ladder or construction material, or a vessel. Finding boats of this age with seats in place is incredibly rare - so I had my doubts.


Photo T.Northage

logboat paddle
Lees Island 5 Logboat - Oar / Paddle

We bouyed the wreck and Karls team from the UAU went in for an assessment dive.

Thats when things started to get really rather interesting.

 

Inside were found an oar, probably used for steering owing to its length, an intact axe, and an iron spearhead (I have no photo of the spearhead unfortunately), and of course 2 seats.

 

All of the above are incredibly rare to find in isolation - to find them together "frozen in time"  in a vessel that has changed very little since the day it sank is unique.

 

Photo UAU

Socketed Axe
Socketed Axe. Lees Island 5 Boat

This is a socketed hafted axe, 2400 years old.

 

The "socket" is the metal blade on the end, which slots over a peice of timber which in turn is slotted through the head of the haft (handle). The hole in the socket is for a loop or binding of leather or twine to go around the head. This stops the blade coming off.

 

The large size of the head gives added weight and inertia, plus of course adding strength.

 

I dont think one of this age, in this condition has ever been found before.

 

The haft has been worn smooth by the action of hands, and the bottom of the boat still bears scratches from where the axe was slotted under the seat.

 

Photo UAU.

A YouTube video of the Lees Island 5 Boat after refilling with silt on completion of the recording and assessment.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNWqb0lioRU