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Under construction! Mediaeval Novgorod aspen dugout

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general side view
Expanded aspen dugout with on-sewn strakes - a reconstruction of mediaeval Novgorod river craft. May 2007.

Dimensions: length ~ 6.5m, width ~ 1.5m, depth ~0.5m. Quite light - probably around 100 kg when dry. Two pairs of oars for 1-2 rowers; can carry a small sail, too.

In the year 2006 Roger V. Took commissioned a boat from me, to have as authentic as nowadays possible reconstruction of Russian trade transportation in 8-15 centuries. Small vessels on inland waterways where almost sole long-distance communication, those days. Boats were often very light, to facilitate long land portages ("volok"s) between different river systems or beside rapids.

This boat is a generic reconstruction based on several archaeological finds and documents, as well as living boatbuilding traditions. Among sources the Aleshkovskii boat finds in Novgorod can be mentioned, Tuna i Badelunda find/reconstruction and Bjorke find in Sweden, Merkijarvi find/reconstruction in Finland, traditional dugouts in Soomaa National Park, Estonia, and some others.

before expanding
Dugout bottom piece before expanding. September 2006.
inside view
Inside view. May 2007. One can clerly see the shape of the expanded bottom piece, and compare it to it's initial shape on the photo above. While the initial span between the edges was ~25cm amidships, expanding over fire drove them as far as 1.4m apart.
Vodlozero National Park   Sewn boats at Foteviken  
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last update: December 2006   report problems with this page to
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