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Oldest wreck found in Dutch waters discovered!

In a very fortunate coincidence, an extremely fascinating wreck has been found in the waters of the North Sea. A company that searches for and excavates containers that have fallen from a ship in a storm has found the remains of a 16th century vessel! The preliminarily examined find is already being hailed as the
Published: April 4, 2019 - 15:19
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 18:00
Oldest wreck found in Dutch waters discovered!

In a very fortunate coincidence, an extremely fascinating wreck has been found in the waters of the North Sea. A company that searches for and excavates containers that have fallen from a ship in a storm has found the remains of a 16th century vessel! The preliminarily examined find is already being hailed as the oldest found in Dutch waters.

Earlier this year, on 2 January, 345 containers fell into the sea from the merchant vessel MSC “Zoe” during a strong storm. Some were found on land over the next few days, but the vast majority remained on the seabed. During the search for the lost cargo, the team assigned to this task came across a previously unknown wreck using sonar.

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According to the findings, the vessel was carrying a cargo of copper plates and its age was determined to be 1540! This makes the vessel the oldest shipwreck found by the Dutch in the North Sea. What is more, this type of ship had not been known before and was identified as a missing link in the art of boatbuilding.

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The public was informed of the unusual find last Wednesday, 3 April, at the same time as several of the artefacts found were presented, including the copper plates mentioned above. It was also established that the ship belonged to the Fuggers – one of the richest banking families in Europe!

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[blockquote style=”1″]”The way the ship was built is very interesting. First we have to realise that 100 years later Holland was in the middle of its ‘golden period’. Whereas this ship comes from a transitional period and that is why it is so interesting for us.” – Maritime archaeologist Martijn Manders told the BBC.[/blockquote]

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According to preliminary findings, the wreck found belonged to a vessel measuring 30 metres long and 7 metres wide. According to calculations, it was probably carrying a cargo of 5 tonnes of copper. The Fuggers owned copper mines in Slovakia, from where they floated the metal down the Vistula to Gdańsk, and then sent the cargo by sea to Antwerp.

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A copper specialist from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, identified the chemical in the charge as identical to that found in the first copper coins used in the Netherlands. Such coins were being developed at the time as a cheaper alternative to gold and silver.

Another expedition to the wreck has been planned for the summer and we can expect further discoveries then. Until then, the location of the wreck will remain a secret and is under government protection.

Source: bbc.com

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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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