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Henrietta Marie Iron Bar 86.08.1392a
A short, flat iron bar from the wreck of the 1700 London-based slave ship Henrietta Marie is 34.2 cm long x 4.3cm wide x 1.0cm deep and weighs 1.208 kg (2.66 pounds). Twenty-eight iron bars recovered from the site, and they range from 26.5 - 58.0cm long; their average weight is 1.58 kg. Stock iron, in bar form, was shipped in large volume in the African trade and often served as the currency standard around which trade negotiations with West Africans were based. The Henrietta Marie carried a cargo of 33 tons of iron, and, assuming that the load was composed of this type of bar, the ship would have carried more than 18,000 of them. Iron bars were traded for people, and in June of 1699, an English trader noted that iron traded at a rate of “thirteen bars for men and nine for women, and proportionally for boys and girls, according to their ages” in the Calabar region of Nigeria.