Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries 3-1 (November 2011)Marloes J. Rijkelijkhuizen: Bone telescopes from Amsterdam

6 Other finds of small telescopes

No other bone telescopes are known in archaeological collections in the Netherlands. One reason for this could be that if no lenses are present and the object is incomplete, fragments are not recognized as fragments of telescopes. Only a few similar finds, made of wood, are known. These wooden telescopes were found in shipwrecks and can be precisely dated.

One telescope was found in the shipwreck of the Amsterdam, a Dutch East India Company (VOC) ship that ran ashore in 1749 in Hastings, England. Excavations provided plenty of information on this ship and its contents (Gawronski 1994). One of the many finds was a small ebony telescope with copper lens caps. It is approximately 17 cm long and probably consisted of two parts and had two lenses (Jansma 1986). A copper lens cap was found in another Dutch East India ship, the Hollandia. This ship was wrecked on the Scilly Islands in 1743. It is unknown what kind of telescope this lens cap belonged to (Gawronski 1994: 275). Another wooden telescope was found in a Swedish ship, the Kronan. This ship was wrecked in 1676 on the east coast of the island Öland (see . The telescope has a length of circa 13.5 cm and is probably made of wood from the Guayak-tree (Lignum vitae) or ebony (Lars Einarsson, pers. comm.).