This feature of a given number of central frames with distinguishing scarfs can itself be considered at least indirect evidence for the use of Mediterranean moulding.
It is important to note that the scarf type (e.g., hook versus dovetail) and the percentage of the predetermined frames with such scarfs seem to be broad but still vague indicators of regional and temporal variations of geometric moulding (Loewen 1998; 2001; Oertling 2001; 2004; Rieth 1998a). For example, the presence of dovetail scarfs on preassembled frames is a characteristic prominent in if not exclusive to a fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Atlantic vessel type of an "Iberian-Mediterranean subtradition" (Oertling 2001; 2004).
How near to the endposts the tail frames were located when using the Mediterranean moulding method seems to have varied greatly between shipbuilding traditions, vessel types, and even individual shipyards and shipwrights. However, there are no archaeological or documentary examples of tail frames being located over the deadwoods, if such timbers are present. On the 1738 Ukraine vessel, which has identifiable tail frames fairly near the ends of the vessel, the deadwoods begin at the tail frames (Kobaliya and Nef'odov 2005). This feature is also present in illustrations from the 1670 Album de Colbert, which depicts the construction of a large French vessel based on Mediterranean moulding principles. Based on this evidence, for the Mediterranean moulding drawings, I trimmed La Belle's forward deadwood to start at frame VIIIIA (Figure 49a-f, g-l, m-r).
On the actual La Belle, surmarked frames VIIIIA and XIID are situated over the deadwoods (Figures 1, 30), and the floor diagonal is defined all the way to the endposts where the final design frames are located. Therefore, tail frames are not mentioned in La Belle's devis or any other devis accompanying French drafts that depict design with diagonals. On the basis of this difference in terminology, Jean Boudriot and Jean-Claude Lemineur, in their 2000 book on La Belle, insightfully concluded that La Belle was probably designed using the French system of graphic design with diagonals (Boudriot 2000). They came to this conclusion without even having knowledge of the surmark evidence.
Thus far there is no archaeological evidence for the use of a mould and filler frame approach between the tail frames in Mediterranean moulding, although there is documentary evidence for the use of this approach in some shipbuilding traditions, particularly for galley construction (Alertz 1995:146; 2009:263; Bondioli 2003). For clarity of presentation, only every third frame position is depicted in the conceptual drawings of Mediterranean moulding in Figure 49a-f, g-l, m-r. NEXT
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