JaapJan Zeeberg
Into the Ice Sea
Barents' wintering on Novaya Zemlya: A Renaissance voyage of discovery


16,5 x 24 cm
320 pag.
€ 29,50
ISBN 978 90 5170 926 1
Hardbound edition is sold out.

Willem Barents' wintering on Novaya Zemlya in 1596-1597 is associated with the blossoming of Dutch commerce and culture and the dawning of the Golden Age. The exploration of the Arctic frontier and search for the Northeast Passage to China and Japan, with experimental navigational instruments and the cosmographic theory of that age, were chronicled by Barents' shipmate Gerrit de Veer between 1594 and 1597. The wintering of the shipwrecked crew in the 'Saved House' was the first successful wintering of Europeans in the High Arctic.

Into the Ice Sea presents a synthesis of four summers in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago between 1992 and 2001. The expeditions were designed to gain further insight into the motives, strategies, and tools of the sixteenth-century explorers. The Saved House held a commercial sample of the booming European cultures. It was an extraordinary winter camp, with linens, pewter tableware, a variety of Renaissance prints by Hendrick Goltzius and Jacob de Gheyn, an eighty-year old Gothic clock, wax candles, leather-bound books, and ornately decorated Venetian chalices.

Archeologists connected with the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum, keeper of objects recovered from the wintering cabin since 1872, searched Novaya Zemlya's inaccessible northeastern coast for traces of the wintering, including Barents' shipwreck and grave. Ship and camp remains and the objects recovered from the Saved House provide the material link between the diary and its historical context. By retracing the original voyage with De Veer's journal in hand, the authors present a view of the Arctic through the eyes of a sixteenth-century explorer.

With contributions by Pieter Floore.

Preview of the Book (2.8 MB)

... much historical information is packed into this book ... fascinating and very original ... a good insight into the challenges and problems of expeditions into the Russian Arctic... It includes everything that makes the Arctic exciting. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in accounts of expeditions into Arctic regions.

Louwrens Hacquebord, Professor in Polar Studies, Arctic, Arctic Institute of North America, June 2006

... simply irresistible... a sober, detailed, and most interesting account of the discovery of the Saved House ... Those illustrations in the book that are taken from sources closely contemporary to Barents and those that show relics secured from archaeological investigations are numerous and excellent, and the maps are very good. ... The author clearly has much to say with regard to Barents and the more recent expeditions...

Ian R. Stone, Laggan Juys, Larivane Close, Andreas, Isle of Man IM7 4HD, Polar Record, Cambridge University Press, November 2005

Table of Contents

1. Into the Ice Sea 1991
2. Nova Zembla: Tale and Discovery of the Saved House
3. Dutch Expansion in the Sixteenth Century
4. To Japan: Liefde Through the Strait of Magellan
5. Aftermath - Henry Hudson and the Fourth Dutch Expedition
6. Touchdown on Novaya Zemlya - We Uncover the Saved House
7. 1993 - Digging into the Sixteenth Century
8. Two Years Later
9. Into the Kara Sea Aboard R/V Ivan Kiriev
10. Repulsed by the Storm
11. In Search of Willem Barents
12. Waiting to be Rescued
13. Terra Firma: Ashore in the Bay of Strangers
14. The House on Shore
15. We Find Parts of the Ship
16. In the Yugor Strait
17. Epilogue: Vaygach 2000

Appendices: Highlights of the journals published by Jan Huyghen van Linschoten and Gerrit de Veer between 1594 and 1600, including Van Linschoten's descriptions of Japan (Itinerario), and the first whaling (Round by the North), and De Veer's accounts of anomalous sunrises and keeping up spirits in the depths of the Arctic Night.