The Marstrand Cannon: The earliest evidence of shipboard artillery in Europe?

By Staffan von Arbin, Kay Douglas Smith & Tobias B. Skowronek, published August 2023


Current knowledge concerning the introduction of shipboard artillery in Europe is limited. A small, muzzle-loading cast copper-alloy gun recovered off Marstrand on the west coast of Sweden may, however, provide some important leads regarding this development. Radiocarbon analysis of a piece of cloth from the powder chamber, possibly the remains of a cartouche, suggests a date for the cannon in the fourteenth century, making it probably the earliest example of European shipboard artillery found so far. In this paper we give an account of our recent investigations of this important find, which also include a geochemical analysis of the metal used for the casting of the gun.

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Filed under: Early Middle Ages | North Sea
Subjects include: Archaeology | Weapons

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