The mysterious wreckage of two mediaeval ships discovered last spring off the coast of Sweden has gained new information. Their ages and remote origins have finally been established by researchers, as reported by Miami Herald.
In Varberg, about 120 miles north of Copenhagen, the merchant’s vessels were reportedly found close to the construction of a railroad tunnel, according to a Nov. 16 press release from the archaeological consulting firm Arkeologerna. Archaeologists determined that the ships were cogs, a common style of mediaeval ship. According to the website of the Estonian Mere Museum, cogs were “huge, with a spacious cargo compartment, and were often fitted with one mast and one enormous square sail.” The discovery of the vessel remnants within 30 feet of one another is quite unique, according to experts. One of the wrecks is the best-preserved cog wreck ever discovered in Sweden since its port side is almost entirely intact. Less than 40 have been found in all of Europe, and just seven have been found in the nation thus far.
Wood samples recovered from the ship have now been examined, months after archaeologists first made their original discovery, and the findings provide answers to open-ended issues. According to archaeologists, the larger vessel, known as Varbergskoggen 1, was built from wood that was harvested in 1346. The Netherlands, Belgium, and France were the locations where the wood came from, hundreds of miles away. Though the two ships have a common final resting site, the smaller ship, known as Varbergskoggen 2, was constructed between 1355 and 1357 utilising wood from northern Poland.
How did it sink?
Researchers are still unsure of what caused or how the two ships to sink. According to Anders Gutehall, one of the project’s archaeologists, the larger of the two ships “rolled on to its port side while it was still rigged thus the ship must have been in service at the time,” adding that the wreck site was a shallow bay when the ships sank. According to Gutehall, “We are not sure if they sank during a storm or if someone purposely sank them.”
According to the Maritime Injury Center, some of the leading causes of shipwrecks are bad weather, collisions, flooding, and movement of badly stowed cargo. Archaeologists added that the types of food and other commodities that were stowed on board may someday be revealed by soil samples, which may offer more information about the ships’ last excursions. Given that the crash was close to the mediaeval village of Getakärr, the crew was probably moving cargo there or away from it, according to Gutehall.
Leather shoes, wooden spoons, and inscribed kegs are just a few of the everyday artefacts discovered inside the wreck that could aid experts in solving the riddle of the buried ships. The ships’ timber will continue to be examined, and each one will be photographed using a portable laser scanner that will also be utilised for a 3D reconstruction, Gutehall added. Off the Swedish coast, at least a few more antiquated shipwrecks have recently been found. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, a 500-year-old ship packed with soldiers and Danish aristocrats was discovered in 2021 off the southern Swedish shore. According to earlier McClatchy News reporting, in October archaeologists claimed that another Swedish shipwreck had been unearthed by scuba divers. Researchers came to the conclusion that the wreck was the Äpplet, a Swedish king-commissioned warship from the 17th century, based on samples of the wood.
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Source: Miami Herald