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A 17th century Hanseatic shipwreck has been found near Lübeck. - video

A very interesting find was made by German archaeologists, who discovered a 17th century Hanseatic shipwreck near Lübeck. Researchers have made an extremely significant discovery in the waters of the Trave River on Germany’s northern coast, which connects Lübeck to the Baltic Sea. Near the city, archaeologists have located a shipwreck that is nearly 400
Published: August 24, 2022 - 09:00
Updated: July 23, 2023 - 01:13
A 17th century Hanseatic shipwreck has been found near Lübeck. – video

A very interesting find was made by German archaeologists, who discovered a 17th century Hanseatic shipwreck near Lübeck.

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Researchers have made an extremely significant discovery in the waters of the Trave River on Germany’s northern coast, which connects Lübeck to the Baltic Sea. Near the city, archaeologists have located a shipwreck that is nearly 400 years old. The discovery is a remnant of the times of the famous Hanseatic League, of which the city of Lübeck was called the queen.

The Hanseatic League or Hanseatic League or Hanseatic Union was an association of merchants and trading cities from 1241 to 1862. Members of the Hanseatic League supported each other in the economic field and formed an important political and sometimes military force.

Unique wreck of a Hanseatic ship

This is a truly sensational and also very unique discovery. Although Lübeck bore the honorable title of Queen of the Hanseatic League, this is the first wreck from this period to be found in the region. Archaeologists came across its trace during a routine survey in 2020. The find was kept secret and meticulously studied until the end of July 2022.

Research work at the site of the wreck discovery was started jointly by scientists from the City of Lübeck’s Historic Preservation Office and the Albrechts Christian University (CAU) of Kiel, led by Professor Fritz Jürgensem.

The wreck of the Hanseatic ship is located at a depth of 11 meters, so in terms of diving it is easily accessible. Archaeologists first performed sonar scans, then descended to the wreck and collected samples at the site for research. In total, underwater archaeologists have spent more than 460 hours underwater since September 2021. During this time they prepared detailed documentation of the entire site.

reconstruction of a Hanseatic shipwreck

Research and create a 3D model

Based on the information gathered, it was then possible to make a reconstruction of the vessel and determine its cargo. The researchers also made no secret of the fact that they were very impressed by the state of preservation of the wreck. Many elements survived in very good condition, and the whole thing was described by archaeologists as a “time capsule.”

Thanks to the photographic and video documentation created, the researchers made a photogrammetric 3D model of the wreck. As a result, they also determined that the ship measured about 20-25 meters long and 8 meters wide. Dendrochronological analysis, in turn, made it possible to expend the wood used for construction to the second half of the 17th century. Based on the observed structural features, the researchers surmise that the found wreck is a galleot or flute.


Sweden is famous for its magnificent wrecks that rest at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. One of them is the magnificent Bodekull warship wreck from the 17th century, which we visited in 2021. You will read more about it in issue 19. the DIVERS24 quarterly magazine! The digital version of the magazine is available free of charge, while you can purchase the printed version in our online shop.

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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