‘Vergulde Draeck’ search artefact may reveal new clues to the origins of a ‘Batavia’ mass grave feature


cartridge cartridge blob

While searching for evidence of the Vergulde Draeck (1656) shipwreck survivors on the Western Australian coast from 2008-2013, Heritage Detection Australia used heritage metal detection and located a number of metal artefacts which may have research ramifications for  material found in the Batavia (1629) shipwreck mass graves on the Abrolhos Islands and for archaeologists elsewhere.

During coastal surveys HDA found a number of shotgun and rifle cartridge cases which are surrounded by matted plant roots. The material appears to be attracted to the copper in the cartridges. The image below shows a blue shotgun cartridge (Minelab CTX 3030 Fe Co 13 30 see explanation at end)  encased with fibrous plant material and a new shotgun cartridge. Some .22 cartridges (Minelab CTX 3030 Fe Co 11 08 *) found showed similar characteristics (image include).

2 cartridgesShotgun cartridge surrounded by matted plant roots. HDA image.

22 bullet.22 cartridge surrounded by fibrous roots. HDA…

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