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Another ship in the "Virtual Skansen of Wrecks in the Gulf of Gdansk" - video

A three-dimensional model of the wreck of a transport ship from the first half of the 19th century “Portowiec” can be seen on a film prepared and made available by the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk. The vessel was examined in June and October 2014 by underwater archaeologists from the NMM. So far, scientists have
Published: April 12, 2015 - 14:45
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 10:36
Another ship in the “Virtual Skansen of Wrecks in the Gulf of Gdansk” – video

A three-dimensional model of the wreck of a transport ship from the first half of the 19th century “Portowiec” can be seen on a film prepared and made available by the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk.

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The vessel was examined in June and October 2014 by underwater archaeologists from the NMM. So far, scientists have presented in three-dimensional form the condition of the wreck before the excavation began. This is not the case with the “Harbourmaster”.

“Thanks to the intensive efforts of the research team, we present the individual stages of work on the wreck. Watching the animation, you can take a virtual walk inside the wreck and feel like an underwater archaeologist exploring a historical object,” explains Tomasz Bednarz, author and manager of the project “Virtual Open-Air Museum of the Gdańsk Bay Wrecks”.

In the three-dimensional animation of the wreck and in its photographs you can see how the object looked at the beginning of the research in June 2014 and after part of its structure was uncovered in October 2014. The animation was prepared by Janusz Różycki and Tomasz Bednarz – underwater archaeologists from the NMM Underwater Research Department.

The wreck numbered F53.14, known as the ‘Porter’, is the relic of a sailing vessel built of oak wood and at least 30 metres long. Scientists assume that the vessel was probably made in the first decade of the 19th century. Analyses have shown that the wood used for its construction comes from Eastern Pomerania.

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During last year’s excavations more than 140 relics were excavated from the wreck, including fragments of shoes, ceramic vessels, a glass bottle, carpentry tools, a tin spoon scoop and fragments of clay pipes. A significant part of the wreck is sunken into the bottom, from which elements of the sides protrude up to the height of the deck. The keel of the wreck is more than 2.5 metres below the surface of the seabed.

“Using computer programmes from the SfM (Structure from Motion) category, we have developed and put into use an innovative method of photogrammetric 3D documentation of wrecks located at the bottom of the Baltic Sea,” says Bednarz. – From a sequence of appropriately taken 2D photos, the programme, using appropriate algorithms, is able to generate a 3D model, recognising the location in space (in relation to each other) of individual elements visible in the photos,” he adds. – he adds.

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According to the creators of the models, they are not only visually attractive, but at the same time constitute a universal and precise measurement tool for underwater archaeology. What is important for archaeologists, the method allows to document wrecks also in very poor underwater visibility, limited even to less than one metre.

In the coming years, as part of the “Virtual Wreck Heritage Park of the Gulf of Gdańsk” programme, underwater archaeologists from the NMM are planning to create a three-dimensional archaeological documentation of all wooden wrecks located at the bottom of the Gulf of Gdańsk. This summer the works on four more vessels will start. Among them there will be: the wreck of the 17th-century ship “Solen” and the 19th-century barque “Loreley”.

Source: PAP – Science in Poland

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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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