Resinous paying materials of the 16th−18th centuries are divided into pitch and tar products. In the 15th century a pitch industry developed in south-west France and a tar industry in the Baltic. The French Marine encouraged both industries in France and New France from the 1660s. Pitch products were derived from live pines, tar products from dead pinewood, both in a range of viscosity. To improve their paying quality, materials were often mixed before application. Archaeological examples from several wrecks, from the Landes, Normandy, Rochefort, Québec and the Basque Country, can provide evidence towards an identification scheme for paying materials.
© 2005 The Nautical Archaeology Society