Baltic Renaissance shipwreck

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Baltic Renaissance shipwreck

Post by Witness »

A 500-Year-Old Shipwreck Has Turned Up Perfectly Intact on Bottom of The Baltic Sea

Laying on the muddy floor of the frigid inland Baltic Sea, scientists have found an almost perfectly preserved and intact shipwreck, undisturbed for hundreds of years.

Based on its incredible preservation, archaeologists have been able to date the ship back to the Renaissance. That's around the late 15th or early 16th century CE, the time of Christopher Columbus and Leonardo da Vinci.

The precise origin of the ship is unknown. It's from a time before naming ships was common; for now, it's been labelled Okänt Skepp - "Unknown Ship" in Swedish.
The first hints that there was something on the seabed 140 metres (460 feet) below the surface of those brackish waters came in 2009, when side-scan sonar wielded by the Swedish Maritime Administration revealed something out of the ordinary.

But it wasn't until a decade later - earlier this year - that the full significance of the wreck was actually revealed. And it was entirely by accident. MMT was employed to survey the seafloor ahead of laying a natural gas pipeline; and there, emerging from the gloom, was a tall ship.
To study the ship in greater detail, scientists deployed remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) from the deck of the Stril Explorer. These were used to take a photogrammetric survey of the sunken vessel, providing detailed high-resolution 3D models the researchers could study in depth.

She's around 16-18 metres (52-60 feet) in length - just a little smaller than Columbus's flagship, the 19-metre Santa Maria.


In addition to the unscathed tender boat, hull, and masts, some of the rigging also remains intact. So too does the bowsprit, and parts of the decorative transom. Even the capstan and bilge pump are partially preserved, and swivel guns can still be seen in place on the gun deck.

The team credits this level of preservation to the cold, slightly salty, hypoxic waters of the Baltic Sea's deeper waters; an environment less hospitable to the marine life that would usually ravage a wooden sunken ship. ... baltic-sea