MAS-D100183: MAS-D100183; Dorset; Unidentified Object; Image 1 of 2

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Unique ID: MAS-D100183

Object type certainty: Probably
Workflow status: Published Find published

Find comprises of a single length of copper or copper alloy wire, measuring approximately 140 mm long and 10 mm in thickness. The wire consists of a central core of copper alloy strands, which are then wrapped or sheathed in a strand of copper alloy tightly wound around the core. The wire appears to taper towards one end, though it is not clear if this part of its manufacture or damage occurring to it during its use or post deposition on the seabed. The function of this item, clearly incomplete as evidenced by its severed ends, is unclear. Its finding was recorded as being in close proximity to a swivel gun (MAS-D100180) and it is possible that its function related to the use or maintenance of the weapon. It would seem unlikely that it functioned as a cable, due to the use of copper alloy which is not known for it tensile strength. Similarly, though copper is used extensively in modern electrical wiring, the date of the associated Brandy wreck would preclude its use within electronics. Of course this find may be intrusive and not relate to the wreck at all. One further consideration is the possibility it is a fragment of a lightning rod that may have been fitted to a ships mast for protection during and electrical storm at sea.


This find comes from an unidentified wreck known as the Brandy Wreck, situated east of Portland Harbour in Weymouth Bay, Dorset. An investigation of the newly discovered wreck was carried out by Wessex Archaeology (2016) in conjunction with The Shipwreck Project, a local organisation who discovered the site, and at the behest of Historic England. The lack of datable evidence from secure contexts, structural elements of a vessel and other factors meant that a precise date or name of the vessel could not be determined. Broadly, the vessel is thought to date between 1600 and 1825 AD and may relate to a naval or merchant vessel, or potentially be a chance accumulation of artefacts. Vessel currently has no NRHE or HER designation numbers.

This item was found with a swivel gun (MAS-D100180), a timber (MAS-D100177) and a flat strip of copper (MAS-D100184).

Wreck details

Droit number: 091/18


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 140 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Tuesday 22nd May 2018

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: P T

Other reference numbers

Droit ID: 091/18

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper
Completeness: Fragment

Spatial metadata

County or Unitary authority: Dorset (County)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SY7375
Four figure Latitude: 50.57411317
Four figure longitude: -2.38265074
1:25K map: SY7375
1:10K map: SY75SW
Display four figure position on What3Words
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

References cited

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Audit data

Recording Institution: MAS
Created: Friday 1st June 2018
Updated: Friday 27th March 2020

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