Test Firing 17th Century Artillery:The Vasa Cannon Project
2016 Lecture Series
The Kalmar Nyckel Foundation will continue its 2016 Lecture Series on Thursday, November 10th, with an explosive lecture detailing the destructive power of 17th-century cannons.
Test Firing 17th-Century Artillery: The Vasa Cannon Project will highlight the work of renowned maritime archaeologist Dr. Fred Hocker. In addition to serving on the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation’s board of directors, Dr. Hocker has been the Director of Research at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, since 2003. Dr. Hocker’s work at the Vasa Museum extends beyond the conventional fields of history and archaeology to include disciplines as varied as genetics, ballistics, metallurgy, zoology, and economics. He has been leading international teams of researchers from more than ten countries in order to understand the Swedish warship Vasa in its widest possible context. Recent projects include DNA analysis of the human remains found on the ship, the role of women in the Swedish economy of the early 17th-century, and the use of Kalmar Nyckel as a “sailing laboratory” for experimental archaeological in order to understand the intricacies of how Vasa would have functioned.
For his lecture, Dr. Hocker will discuss the results from one of his more exciting recent projects, the “Vasa Cannon Project,” which investigated the effectiveness of Vasa’s main armament. Dr. Hocker and his team of scientists and historians cast a replica of one of ship’s 24-pounder bronze cannon so that it could be tested and studied using 21st-century methodologies and equipment. The cannon was fired 54 times at the famous Bofors Proving Range. Twelve rounds were fired at a replicated section of Vasa’s hull, and the results proved both interesting and dramatic.
As Dr. Hocker put it recently, “Our results indicate that Vasa’s 24-pounder guns were devastating at short range – but the nature of the damage was not what we expected. There were quite a few surprises at the effects trial.” During the hour-long lecture, with an additional 30 minutes forum for questions and answers, Dr. Hocker will show stunning film footage of the effects trial and discuss his findings – shedding new light on the naval artillery that defined the “Age of Fighting Sail.”
Date: November 10, 2016
Seating is Limited
Did you know: That Kalmar Nyckel was a "Dutch Pinnace," a new class of gun-armed merchant ship that could also serve as a naval vessel?