Rest and leisures

Life aboard ship was governed by the weather and was punctuated by a series of watches. When there was no wind, a ship could remain becalmed for several days. Although accounts of life at sea often mention music and dancing as ways for the crew to pass the time, the archives provide no information about the daily life of sailors. The data gathered at the Natière site thus sheds precious light on the crew's leisure-time activities, including the presence of a pet – a young macaque aboard the Dauphine. Excavations also revealed the presence of a black rat (Rattus rattus) on the same ship.
Wood was omnipresent, and is the dominant material in the inventory of finds from the two wrecks – accounting for more than half of all objects collected (excluding structural elements and animal bones). Ever to hand, wood could be reused ad infinitum and was easily repaired. Wood-carving was thus practiced by anyone who possessed a knife, and it was the source of some of the extraordinary finds aboard the Dauphine.


Teddy Seguin (Adramar) © MCC / DRASSM
Peg for a viola da gamba or a hurdy gurdy, made out of beech. (Ref. : Nat 2877)
Dessin Marie-Noëlle Baudrand (Adramar), photo Frédéric Osada (Images Explorations) © MCC / DRASSM
Bones from a macaque that were discovered in the kitchen area of the Dauphine (1704). This young Barbary Macaque (Macaca sylvanus) was the only known victim of the shipwreck. It was less than six months old. (Ref. : Nat122)
Teddy Seguin (Adramar) © MCC / DRASSM
Whistle made from the shaft of a ruminant tibia that has been shortened and polished. The object was partially sealed by two wax plugs. When it was found, it was still in working condition. (Ref. : Nat 1393)
Teddy Seguin © MCC / DRASSM
Barrel stave end inscribed with the image of a ship. Wreck of the Dauphine. The engraving was probably done by one of the sailors aboard ship. (Ref. : Nat 1295)
Teddy Seguin © MCC / DRASSM
Two sheep metapodes displaying traces of polishing and sculpting. Wreck of the Dauphine (1704). Bones from the meat eaten by the crew provided, like wood, a perfect material for sculpting small objects. (Ref. : Nat 1695)
Teddy Seguin © MCC / DRASSM
Bowl made from a coconut that was recut and polished. The excavation of the Dauphine (1704) turned up a number of coconuts, probably brought back from long-haul voyages, which had been transformed by sailors by sailors into recipients. (Ref. : nat1408_1)
Teddy Seguin © MCC / DRASSM
Mandible, humerus fragments and a vertebra from a black rat, from the Dauphine (1704). (Ref. : Nat 1696)
Frédéric Osada (Images Explorations) © MCC / DRASSM
Bell, dice and gaming pieces from the Dauphine. These represent some of sailors' favourite pastimes. (Nat 1252, 1254, 1501 and 1740)

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