Days of Yore
Tapping crowd to find East India trader wreck
AMERSFOORT – The East India trader Schoonhoven sank off Portugal in a storm Jan. 23, 1626, en route to Asia. Researchers have founded the wreck’s rough location, an area of 6 square kilometers. To find and explore it will cost €37.804. To raise that money, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands has turned to crowdfunding – an online appeal to a large pool of backers, the “crowd.”
The agency’s records show that the ship was carrying 11 anchors and several iron canons. This will create quite a substantial magnetic field. With a survey ship, a team of experts, computers for data processing and a magnetometer, it is convinced it can find the wreck and what is left of its 17th century cargo. According to Portuguese and Dutch archives, more than 30.000 silver coins were lost when the Schoonhoven perished.
The Schoonhoven project marks the Cultural Heritage Agency’s first crowdfunding initiative. It is also asking the public to nominate crowdfunding projects to finance historical research.