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In 1629, the Batavia, a ship of the Dutch East India Company, met disaster off the coast of Australia. A new analysis of the shipwreck’s tree rings uncovers how such vessels were built to advance European colonialism.Wendy van Duivenvoorde is an associate professor in maritime archaeology at Flinders University. Aoife Daly is an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen. Marta Domínguez Delmás is a research associate at the University of Amsterdam.