The Planking Clamp from Tårnby: a Medieval Danish Boatbuilding Tool



At the bottom of a well on a medieval farm on the Danish island of Amager, archaeologists found a planking clamp dated by dendrochronology to 1405 AD.1 The clamp is of great importance: very few examples have been found or recognised in Northern Europe to date, and this is the best preserved, and thus provides data about its shape and use; and the size of boat it was used in the construction of. It is discussed whether the clamp was used exclusively for boatbuilding or whether it might also have been used in other crafts. It is suggested that copies of the Tårnby planking clamp might be used in future experimental boatbuilding projects.

© 2004 The Nautical Archaeology Society