To be or not to be a cog: the Bremen Cog in perspective



Following on from Thijs Maarleveld's paper in 1995 on type-names for archaeological finds of ships, the use of the term cog has been questioned by Timm Weski, who suggested the archaeological term Ijsselmeer-type instead. The present paper surveys a total of 18 ship-finds of this type with respect to date, origin and year of investigation, without finding support for the proposed change in terminology. Instead, the archaeological term cog should be restricted to seagoing vessels of the 12th–15th centuries which share the structural features of the lower part of hull with the Bremen Cog.

Recent results of dendroanalysis point to the root of the Jutland peninsula as a more likely area than the former Zuiderzee for the transformation of a hypothetical older‘proto-cog'-type for navigation on rivers and in the Waddensee into the proper seagoing medieval cog-type. Impulses for this transformation were found, most likely, in the need to circumnavigate Cape Skagen already in the 12th century, and technical features were probably taken over from large Scandinavian cargo ships of that period. © 2000 The Nautical Archaeology Society