Iron-Bound Deadeyes from the Nineteenth-Century Akko Tower Wreck, Israel: Metallurgical Investigation of the Manufacturing Technology

I. Voiculescu, V. Geantă, A. Stern, D. Ashkenazi, M. Cohen, D. Cvikel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Akko Tower Wreck is the remains of a 25-m-long merchant brig, which sank in Akko harbour during the second quarter of the nineteenth century. During underwater excavations, three iron-strapped deadeyes were retrieved from the shipwreck. Metallurgical investigation revealed information related to the manufacturing technologies of the objects. The presence of equiaxed grains combined with elongated inclusions indicates that the strops were made from indirect-smelted wrought iron manufactured by hot-forging and joined by riveting and forge welding. The welding zone of the loop was identified as a plain lap joint, and that of the chain links as a scarf joint. The high concentration of inclusions found on the forge-welding fracture surface may indicate the use of sand as the flux material. The composition, microstructure and manufacturing technology suggest that the deadeyes were manufactured during the second quarter of the nineteenth century, which supports the dating of the ship by other evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-125
Number of pages20
JournalMetallography, Microstructure, and Analysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The underwater excavations (IAA excavation permits G-23/2012, G-78/2013, G-16/2015 and G-25/2016) and research of the Akko Tower Wreck are supported by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant No. 447/12), the Honor Frost Foundation, D. Shafir, a Sir Maurice Hatter Fellowship, and the Rector and Research Authority of the University of Haifa, to whom the authors are grateful. The authors are grateful to Y. Shoef, Gabi Shoef Ltd, for the RT assistance; to V. Marinescu from ICPE-CA Bucharest for his valuable SEM assistance; to J. Tresman for the English editing; and to the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York and ASM International.


  • Akko Tower Wreck
  • Archaeometallurgy
  • Deadeye
  • Forge welding
  • Microstructure
  • Riveting
  • Wrought iron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Metals and Alloys


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