EstonianThe wreck of an oak merchant ship 24 meters long and 9 meters wide was buried under the city of Tallinn, which was submerged in the sea hundreds of years ago.
One of the largest ports in the Baltic Sea, the port of Tallinn, is also one of the oldest in Northern Europe. On April 20, the wreck of a 700-year-old ship belonging to the Hanseatic League was discovered 1.5 meters below the streets of Tallinn, the Estonian capital. At its height, the Hanseatic League had a near monopoly on all maritime trade in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea in the Middle Ages.
This is the largest wreck of its kind ever discovered. Where the ship “rested” at the mouth of the old Harjapea River, a waterway no longer exists. It was found by accident during the construction of an office building on Lootsi Street, Tallinn. Construction work is expected to be delayed by at least two months for archaeologists to excavate.
The newly discovered wreck is so well preserved that it may surpass the record for preservation of the medieval merchant ship Bremen Cog. The Bremen Cog was discovered in Weser, Germany, in 1962. It took experts almost 40 years to recreate it and display it in the German Maritime Museum. The results of wood dating show that the ship of the Hanseatic League existed from 1298, 82 years older than Bremen Cog.
“The Tallinn wreck is very good compared to the Bremen Cog. The ship is 24 meters long and 9 meters wide. The planks from the bottom to the height of 3 meters are still intact. The ship is built from planks and large oak logs. It has overlapping layers of boards, sealed with animal hair and tar,” said archaeologist Mihkel Tammett.
“We also found packing wool, some tools and pieces of medieval leather shoes. The excavation is ongoing and we hope to uncover more,” added Tammett. .
In 2008, about 50 meters from the current Tallinn wreck, another wreck was found. There are many wrecks around Tallinn because the whole area was sea until the end of the 18th century. In the 13th century, it was 2 meters deep.
In the late 1930s, Tallinn was filled with ash and household waste. Vessels may have been sunk here intentionally or buried over time. “Perhaps there are shallower shoals of sand that are difficult to map because they change shape and position due to icebergs and storms. The newly discovered wreck is located in one of such sands below the sediment. “, said Tammett.
Despite their bulky size, merchant ships of the Hanseatic League were favored for their flat bottoms, large cargo space, and ease of operation. However, its large size makes it nearly impossible for experts to move it in one piece, according to Ragnar Nurk, an archaeologist with the Tallinn city government. “There are two main solutions: it will be taken to the maritime museum or the wreck preservation area in Tallinn Bay, near the island of Naissaar,” he said.
Thu Thao (According to Ancient Origins)
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