Exploring the waters of Norway’s largest lake, local archaeologists are believed to have discovered a shipwreck from 700 years ago.
The Defense Research Establishment announced in an official statement that archaeologists have discovered an unusual wreck at the bottom of Lake Mjøsa. The site, which researchers located, is believed to be about 700 years old.
Lake Mjøsa is located about 100 kilometers north of Oslo. This largest body of water in Norway has been a much-traveled trade route since Viking times. Not surprisingly, then, there may be a variety of artifacts from ancient times on the days. That’s not all, however. In the 1940s and 1970s, the military dumped all sorts of surplus munitions in the lake. Therefore, diving here can certainly provide quite a thrill.
In an effort to make the lake a safe place for both people and local wildlife, researchers are mapping the body of water to locate and then remove sunken munitions. The researchers expected that while doing their work they might also find much older man-made artifacts. However, what they discovered exceeded their wildest expectations!
Analyzing material collected with sonar, archaeologists discovered a large object on the bottom, which turned out to be a shipwreck. The found wooden vessel measured about 10 meters in length and was built around 1300.Unfortunately, the wreck is located at a depth of as much as 411 meters, far beyond the reach of divers. Fortunately, thanks to sonar and underwater robots, the unit was able to be tracked down and preliminarily examined.
Although the collected photographic documentation is not of the highest quality, it is still possible to distinguish the ship’s stern, among other things, thanks to it. It is this structural detail that is very important. Before 1300, very distinctive Viking vessels were built that were identical at both ends. It was only after about 1300 that ships appeared whose bows and sterns differed.
Based on the documentation collected, archaeologists believe that the builders used a Nordic construction technique that involved overlapping hull planks known as clinker. Researchers also suspect that the ship had a centrally located rudder. Viking ships, on the other hand, usually had the rudder located on the right side of the hull.
Due to poor weather and visibility, archaeologists have not been able to obtain clear photos. However, the researchers are not losing hope and intend to conduct another survey in 2023. If conditions improve, archaeologists will try to delineate the entire wreck and collect more detailed material. Perhaps, based on it, it will be possible to determine more precisely the type of vessel that rests on the bottom.
So far, about 20 wrecks have been discovered in Lake Mjøsa, but researchers have located all of them at a depth of 20-30 meters. The described research focused for the first time on the much deeper parts of the basin, which are still unexplored.
Photo: FFI Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt / NTNU Teknologi og naturvitenskap
The Cave Corals Project is a very interesting initiative that we are publishing as part of our joint series with the XDEEP brand. You can read more about it in the 20th issue of our DIVERS24 quarterly! The digital version of the magazine is available free of charge, while you can purchase the printed version in our online store.
The Divers24 portal is currently the largest online medium treating diving in Poland. Since 2010 we have been providing interesting and important information from Poland and around the world on all forms of diving and related activities.
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org