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C. Beltrame
The Mercurio
A Brig of the Regno Italico Sunk During the Battle of Grado (1812)

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XXXVI+358 p., 357 b/w ill. + 9 colour ill., 25 b/w tables, 216 x 280 mm, 2019
ISBN: 978-2-503-58103-3
Languages: English
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Retail price: EUR 80,00 excl. tax
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Online content: https://www.brepolsonline.net/action/showBook?doi=10.1484/M.STMCH-EB.5.115884

The Italian brig Mercurio was escorting the French 80-gun vessel Rivoli from Venice on its very first expedition, in 1812, when it was sunk by an English ship during the Battle of Grado. Since the wreck was identified, the Mercurio has been the site of several underwater excavations, beginning in 2001 and continuing from 2004 to 2011 by a team from the Università Ca’ Foscari of Venice, together with the local Soprintendenza. Their work revealed a number of extraordinary finds and provided a unique insight into life — and death — on a brig during the period of the Napoleonic wars.

This volume offers a discussion and catalogue of the finds yielded by the Mercurio, including photogrammetry-plans of the bow and stern, together with an analysis of ship-building technique, detail of the equipment and arms used, and, uniquely, close detail of finds connected to the crew themselves. This is one of the few sites from the Mediterranean where human remains have been preserved, and through the work of anthropologists, it has even been possible to try and identify one of the men named on the crew list. Discovery of buttons, footwear, precious items, and even foodstuffs also serve to shed light on the daily life of the crew. This volume thus draws together a wealth of archaeological and historical information to tell the hitherto untold story of the Mercurio.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Foreword

Preface

Acknowledgements

 

Introduction — CARLO BELTRAME

 

Part I: Historical Context and the Battle of Grado

1. Napoleon’s Italian Navy — PIERO CROCIANI

2. The Event in its Context — CARLO BELTRAME

3. The Mercurio According to the Historical Data — CARLO BELTRAME

 

Part II: The Discovery, the Site, and the Methodology of Investigation

1. The Discovery of the Shipwreck and its Identification — CARLO BELTRAME

2. The Environmental Characteristics of the Site and its Aspect at the Moment of the Discovery —CARLO BELTRAME

3. Conditions of Preservation of the Objects — CARLO BELTRAME

4. The Dynamics of the Sinking and the Formation Processes — CARLO BELTRAME

5. Methods and Techniques of Investigation — CARLO BELTRAME

 

Part III: The Ship

1. The Hull — CARLO BELTRAME

2. Equipment — CARLO BELTRAME

3 Furniture and Lighting —CARLO BELTRAME AND STEFANIA MANFIO

4. Armament —CARLO BELTRAME

5. Projectiles —CARLO BELTRAME

6. Galley — STEFANIA MANFIO

7. Sanitary and Medical Arrangements — STEFANIA MANFIO

 

Part IV: The Crew

1. Osteological Analysis of the Crew — FRANCESCA BERTOLDI, FIORELLA BESTETTI, ROBERTO CAMERIERE, AND CARLOTTA SISALLI

2. Crew, Uniforms, and Weapons —SOPHIA DONADEL

3. Gunflints — PAOLO BIAGI AND ELISABETTA STARNINI

4. Personal Possessions — CARLO BELTRAME

5. Coins — TOMASO LUCCHELLI

 

Conclusions — CARLO BELTRAME

 

References

 

Appendices

Appendix A: Conservation of the Waterlogged Wood — TIZIANA LANAVE

Appendix B: The Conservation of the Leather — NECULINA CONDRACHE AND SOPHIA DONADEL

Appendix C: The Restoration and Conservation of some Metallic Finds — GIUSEPPE MORETTI

Appendix D: Transcriptions of Documents — Documents from Tracy, 2000

 

Catalogue

Interest Classification:
Modern History (1501 to the present)
Early modern history (1501-1800) : main subdisciplines
Political & institutional history
Early modern history (1501-1800) : auxiliary sciences
Archaeology
Early modern history (1501-1800) : genres & specific topics
Military studies
Maritime & naval studies
Early modern European history (1501-1800) : local & regional history
British Isles
Italian Peninsula

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