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Dr Helmer Helmers (ASH) and his colleague Dr Nadine Akkerman (Leiden University) have been awarded an NWO grant (100.000 euros) under the NWO scheme 'Archaeological discoveries of (inter)national importance', for their research project 'Maritime Archeology Meets Cultural History: The Texel Shipwreck BZN17 in Context'. The project will run from 1 May 2017 until 1 November 2018.

Helmer Helmers


The discovery of the Texel wreck BZN17 recently attracted worldwide attention, not least as a result of the the intervention of the applicants. Unique objects retrieved from the wreck, some related to the British royal House of Stuart, made international headlines, exciting professional archaeologists, historians and general audiences alike. The project seeks to promote a new engagement with early modern material culture in general, and those unique objects found in the wreck in particular, using cultural historical sources and methodologies. 

Two postdocs will conduct archival research in the UK and the Netherlands, establishing a historical context as well as yielding basic facts on the owners of both goods and ship. Subsequent co-operation with researchers of materiality will further our understanding of how the history of Anglo-Dutch mobility and displacement of exile affected material culture, and how individual and group identities were shaped through that culture on both sides of the Channel. A pilot study for a transdisciplinary European project, this project seeks to build a bridge between maritime archeologists and cultural historians, in association with experts from the Conservation, Heritage and Museum sectors. Research outcomes will be widely disseminated through international media and exhibitions.