A rare figurehead from a 15th-century Danish warship was discovered on the ocean floor off Sweden's coast.
A wooden figurehead from a 15th-century Danish warship was lifted from the ocean floor off the coast of Ronneby in southern Sweden. The relic inspires images of mythical sea monsters that besieged seafaring ships. The finding is part of a larger expedition that discovered the wreck of the “Gribshunden,” which belonged to the Danish King John. The ship is surmised to have sunk in 1495 after it conflagrated on its way from Copenhagen to Kalmar located on the east coast of Sweden.
John Ronnby, professor of marine archeology at Sodertorn University, acknowledged that the last time the Gribshunden saw land Christopher Columbus and Leonardo da Vinci were still alive. Dating technology on samples of the ship’s timbers revealed that it was sourced from oak trees felled during the prior winter in 1482.
Researchers intend to hoist the remaining wreckage in the near future. Reports claim that the hull is well preserved because of the sea worms that covered it, which were trying to find refuge from the Baltic Sea’s briny water.
Other rare artifacts were previously recovered and are now on display in museums. The fire that sunk the ship was traced to historical records. The region was plagued by political upheaval, causing major strategic setbacks for King John’s intention to unify Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Analysts also suggest the ship was on the vanguard of naval technology at the time.
‘The ship comes from a time just when Columbus was sailing across the ocean and Vasco da Gama also went to India, and this is the same period and we can learn very much about how the ships were made, how they were constructed since there are no ships left from this time,’ said Marcus Sandekjer, head of the Blekinge Museum, which assisted in the salvage effort.
Source: Daily Mail
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