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Researchers have determined the age and name of a unique wreck from the Baltic Sea

The international technical diving group Badewanne has determined the age and name of a unique wreck from the Baltic Sea. The researchers discovered the vessel last year at a depth of 85 metres Last year’s discovery by divers from the Badewanne group was much talked about. All because of the beautiful photos of the wreckThe
Published: August 10, 2021 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 20:51
Researchers have determined the age and name of a unique wreck from the Baltic Sea

The international technical diving group Badewanne has determined the age and name of a unique wreck from the Baltic Sea. The researchers discovered the vessel last year at a depth of 85 metres

Last year’s discovery by divers from the Badewanne group was much talked about. All because of the beautiful photos of the wreckThe Badewanne diving team took some beautiful pictures of the wreck. This summer the group returned to record a documentary film “Fluita” and look for answers to further questions. And after last year’s dives, there was no shortage of those.

Badewanne group i=identified sailing shipwreck
A date and an image of a swan were discovered on the fragment found Photo Badewanne

It was while collecting film documentation that the diving team found the ship’s stern transom. The fragment lay with its front facing the bottom and was very well preserved. When the divers from the Badewanne group managed to turn it over, they saw an engraving with the date 1636 and an image of a swan. The researchers assume that it is the swan that represents the name of the ship.

The identity of the ships was determined by the carved motifs on the transom. Fragments of such motifs have been found before, but now that we have the whole composition, we are able to identify the ship as people did in the 17th century. The ship was named “Swan” and was built in 1636. A closer look at the transom will most likely also reveal the coat of arms of the home port. Maritime archaeologist Niklas Eriksson explains.

The Badewanne divers also took precise measurements of the wreck to be able to accurately determine the size of the ship. The group will continue researching the history of the wreck together with marine archaeologists Minna Koivikko from the Finnish Heritage Agency and Martijn Manders from the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency. They will also be supported with their knowledge by expert and marine archaeologist Niklas Eriksson from Stockholm University.

Researchers have determined the name of a unique wreck
The pavement was discovered while collecting material for a documentary film Photo Badewanne
Documentary film

Thehistorical documentary film “Fluita” takes a closer look at the research of the found wreck. The authors accompany scientists and divers from Badewanne who try to determine the origin and mission of the vessel. Together they want to discover the name of the unique wreck and the identity of the sailors, as well as the causes of the 17th century tragedy that led to the ship’s landing at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

This discovery restores my faith in miracles. I have never experienced anything like this in my entire 30-year career. – – said marine archaeologist Minna Koivikko.

The Baltic Sea has been one of the most important trade routes in the world since the Middle Ages. In the 17th century, the efficient fleet of the Dutch Republic took control of trade in the region. It was the extremely profitable trade in the Baltic Sea that allowed the Dutch to expand into colonies, beginning early globalisation.

photogrammetric model of the wreck
Photogrammetric 3D model created on the basis of the photographs taken A date and an image of a swan were discovered on the fragment found Photo Badewanne
The uniqueness of fluita

One type of ship, the fluita, became an extremely important part of this trade. This three-masted vessel with a very capacious hull completely revolutionised maritime transport at the time. Interestingly, fluits were often unarmed, which allowed them to carry more cargo. The innovative new technical solutions also translated into a smaller crew. This made trade even more profitable.

Another interesting and unique solution was, for example, common living spaces for the entire crew. Something unprecedented in the hierarchical maritime world of the time. Although these wooden ships completely dominated trade in the Baltic Sea from the late 16th to the mid-18th century, very few have survived to this day. Not even as wrecks. This also illustrates what a valuable discovery we are dealing with.

New discoveries are undoubtedly a great starting point for further research. Knowing the year the ship was built and its name will help us learn more about the historical context. We may even be able to identify the crew members. adds marine archaeologist Martijn Manders.

Read more about the wreck discovered by the Badewanne team in the upcoming issue of DIVERS24 Magazine.

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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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