Using advanced underwater robotics technology, an international team of scientists has revealed the remains of an intact shipwreck from the Early Modern Period (late 15th – early 16th century) in the Baltic Sea.
This unknown ship (or okänt skepp) is probably the best preserved shipwreck of its period to be discovered in recent times,
…stated the University of Southampton.
It was first detected with sonar by the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) in 2009, but earlier this year, as part of work carried out by survey specialists MMT, the wreck was identified as having great archaeological and historical significance.
The discovery and further inspection was led by Dr. Rodrigo Pacheco-Ruiz, MMT’s maritime archaeologist and deep sea archaeological expert, in collaboration with the Centre for Maritime Archaeology (CMA) at the University of Southampton, Deep Sea Productions and the Maritime Archaeology Research Institute of Södertörn University (MARIS).
This ship is contemporary to the times of Christopher Columbus and Leonardo Da Vinci, yet it demonstrates a remarkable level of preservation after five hundred years at the bottom of the sea, thanks to the cold, brackish waters of the Baltic. It’s almost like it sank yesterday – masts in place and hull intact. Still on the main deck is an incredibly rare find – the tender boat, used to ferry crew to and from the ship, leaning against the main mast. It’s a truly astonishing sight,
…commented Dr Pacheco-Ruiz.
From the archaeological survey, it is believed that the shipwreck could date between the late 15th Century and the early 16th Century.
This would place it earlier than the warship Mars, which sank after an explosion in the First Battle of Öland in 1564 and Henry the VIII’s Mary Rose, as well as the Swedish warship Vasa.
The project comes as a result of the ongoing partnership between MMT and the University of Southampton which has also recently been showcased in the discovery and archaeological survey of more than 65 perfectly preserved shipwrecks in the Black Sea.