Navy pitch (beg)

Dear Sirs, I am interested in Navy pitch (beg) and its role in making vessels seaworthy in the 16th century. I'm interested in its ancient history as well.
Thank you,
Gabriel Ortiz
Gabriel Ortiz


  • Dear Gabriel,
    That is rather a large subject area! There is a large body of research on pitch and other pine tar products in the ancient world, especially their use in waterproofing the insides of transport jars (amphoras). In northern Europe, research has tended to focus more on the naval applications of pitch and tar, as well as the production process. Sweden was a major exporter of tar and pitch for several centuries (one of the reasons pine tar is often referred to as Stockholm tar), so there is a great deal of information on the Finnish and Swedish tar industry. If you could provide more information on exactly what sort of information you are looking for, I can point you in the right direction. If you like, you can contact me directly at my work email,, so that I can forward attachments.
    Fred Research Director, Ship Unit, Ph.D.

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