The discovery of the wreck of the brig Mercurio, which sank in 1812 in the waters of the north Adriatic, is of major significance for the study of Italic Kingdom vessels from the Napoleonic era. The underwater excavations carried out in 2004-11 led to the recovery of many small finds, among which are several gunflints of different size and shape. The Mercurio gunflints were produced mainly from blades using a technique in use in Britain and France, but also in the workshops of the Lessini Hills around Ceredo (Verona province, northern Italy). We suggest that the flint employed for their manufacture probably came from Monte Baldo, in the Trentino, or perhaps from the River Tagliamento, in Friuli. We can exclude the possibility that the specimens recovered from the shipwreck were made from French flint because of the typically north Italian manufacturing technique and the character of the grey Treveti-derived flint. Given the complexity of the period during which the Grado (or Pirano) battle took place, the study of even such small items can contribute to a better interpretation of the dramatic events that characterised the beginning of the nineteenth century in that part of the Mediterranean.

The Mercurio gunflints: a techno-typological and cultural assessment

BIAGI, Paolo;STARNINI, Elisabetta;BELTRAME, Carlo
2016

Abstract

The discovery of the wreck of the brig Mercurio, which sank in 1812 in the waters of the north Adriatic, is of major significance for the study of Italic Kingdom vessels from the Napoleonic era. The underwater excavations carried out in 2004-11 led to the recovery of many small finds, among which are several gunflints of different size and shape. The Mercurio gunflints were produced mainly from blades using a technique in use in Britain and France, but also in the workshops of the Lessini Hills around Ceredo (Verona province, northern Italy). We suggest that the flint employed for their manufacture probably came from Monte Baldo, in the Trentino, or perhaps from the River Tagliamento, in Friuli. We can exclude the possibility that the specimens recovered from the shipwreck were made from French flint because of the typically north Italian manufacturing technique and the character of the grey Treveti-derived flint. Given the complexity of the period during which the Grado (or Pirano) battle took place, the study of even such small items can contribute to a better interpretation of the dramatic events that characterised the beginning of the nineteenth century in that part of the Mediterranean.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3675144
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