Examination of lately found wreck from the Seventeenth century

The dives revealed large shipworm injury. Credit score: Scientific diver Christian Howe

Whereas conducting a routine measurement within the Trave river, the Kiel-Holtenau Waterways and Delivery Authority (Wasserstraßen- und Schifffahrtsamt/WSA) found a ship at a depth of 11 meters. Researchers from Kiel College spent eight months inspecting the puzzling development. The outcome: what that they had discovered was a virtually 400-year-old ship from the Hanseatic interval with 150 barrels on board—a novel discover within the western Baltic area.

What’s left of the ship are picket beams and huge elements of the cargo. They’re coated in mussels and will need to have lain there within the murky water of the Trave river for hundreds of years. “Unbiased relationship of the ship’s timbers in three completely different laboratories revealed that the ship will need to have been constructed within the mid-Seventeenth century,” mentioned Dr. Fritz Jürgens of the Institute of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology at Kiel College. “You at all times hope to make a discover like this and all of the sudden you may have one proper earlier than your eyes. It’s actually distinctive—additionally for me personally,” continued Jürgens. The archaeologist examined the wreck collectively along with his workforce and the college’s Forschungstauchzentrum (scientific diving heart). Researchers from the Hanseatic Metropolis of Lübeck and the College of Göttingen additionally dived with him to examine the stays of the ship.

The ship because the workhorse of Baltic Sea commerce

The Institute of Geosciences at Kiel College was in a position to establish the cargo as lime. The ship evidently transported quicklime, which was a sought-after constructing materials at the moment. “Within the Center Ages and early fashionable interval, limestone was quarried, fired after which extinguished. This was made into mortar,” mentioned Jürgens. In line with preliminary findings, the ship will need to have been on its means from Scandinavia to Lübeck, however by no means made it. Additional investigations are wanted to find out why the Hanseatic ship sank. Preliminary indications counsel that the ship might have run aground on a bend within the Trave river, the place it was critically broken and subsequently sank.

Dr. Fritz Jürgens has reconstructed the sunken ship. Credit score: Dr. Fritz Jürgens, Kiel College

Critical danger to elements of the wreck

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Primarily based on images and movies, the researchers produced 3D fashions and used these to find out the unique size of the ship to be 20–25 meters. The ship was subsequently a medium-sized cargo crusing ship, the workhorse of Baltic Sea commerce. “This discover is extraordinary for the western Baltic Sea area,” mentioned Jürgens. Till now, related wrecks relationship from completely different centuries have solely been discovered within the jap Baltic Sea area.

The dives confirmed that the wreck was at critical danger of abrasion and uncovered elements had been infested with shipworm. If no protecting measures are taken, the wreck can be destroyed inside a number of years and this proof of the intensive maritime commerce of the Hanseatic Metropolis of Lübeck can be misplaced eternally. To be able to stop this from taking place, the researchers at Kiel College are working along with the Metropolis of Lübeck and different establishments to provide a technique for the additional dealing with and safety of the wreck. They’re contemplating salvaging after which preserving it.

Research team examines recently discovered wreck from the 17th century
13 dives totalling 464 minutes supplied the researchers with sufficient materials for his or her first intensive report on the sunken ship from the Hanseatic interval. Credit score: Scientific diver Christian Howe

13 dives totaling 464 minutes

In February 2020, the Kiel-Holtenau Waterways and Delivery Authority (WSA) was conducting a routine examination of the navigable channels of the Trave river after they found an anomaly within the multibeam echosounder outcomes. Divers then investigated the location in August 2021 to rule out any danger to passing delivery. That is after they found the primary indications of it being a wreck and notified the Obere Denkmalschutzbehörde (higher historic monument safety authority) of the Hanseatic Metropolis of Lübeck. This authority commissioned the Institute of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology at Kiel College to look at the wreck additional. In November 2021, the researchers started their work with the help of the Forschungstauchzentrum (scientific diving heart) and the Lübeck Port Authority (LPA). A month later, the researchers had been joined by scientific diver Christian Howe, who’s an skilled underwater photographer and cameraman. 13 dives totaling 464 minutes supplied the archaeologists with sufficient materials for his or her first intensive report.

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Medieval ship discovered off the west coast of Sweden


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