Ancient cannon recovered from Wenduine Beach

A centuries-old cannon has been recovered from the beach in the seaside resort of Wenduine (De Haan – West Flanders).  The weapon is believed to date from as early as the 17th century and was hidden under 5 metres of sand.

Sven Van Haelst of the Flemish Maritime Institute believes the cannon that weighs an estimated 700 kilos is certainly 400 years old.

“It’s pretty corroded” notes the archaeologist.  “So details are pretty sketchy at the minute.  We will now go through all the steps to preserve it using demineralised water. In this way we will be able to find any stamps or marks that point to the makers or its origins.”

The cannon measuring 2.5 metres in length was located close to the high tide mark.

“It’s highly likely the artefact originated from a ship that went aground on a sandbank.  The location close to the coast points to this.  When ships went aground as much as possible of the weight on board was thrown overboard to allow the vessel to refloat at high tide.  A cannon would be a prime target for that!”

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