A team of Norwegian researchers discovered a maritime miracle while mapping a huge lake bed last month.
Archaeologists have discovered a nearly pristine wreck they believe is up to 700 years old at the bottom of Norway’s largest lake, Mjøsa, during a government fact-finding mission.
The vessel, estimated to date from between the 1300s and 1800s, was found nearly 400 meters below the surface, according to a Facebook post by the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment. Underwater images captured the ship in the depths of the lake.
The researchers came across the vessel while running the Mjøsa mission, a government-funded project to map the lake bed. The body of water serves as a source of drinking water for about 100,000 people in the country, according to CNN, but the discovery of unexploded World War II munitions in the lake during previous inspections prompted a broader search for potential health risks. of the water.
Øyvind Ødegård, a maritime archaeologist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, told Live Science last month that he expected to find some hidden treasures beneath the surface when he signed up for the project, given the lake’s status as a trade route vital. then. the viking age
The vessel was in near mint condition due to a lack of wave activity on the freshwater lake, according to CNN. Ødegård told the outlet that the minimal wear on the vessel’s metal indicates that the wreck has been lying on the lake bed for a long time, as corrosion takes hundreds of years to occur.
Archaeologists said the ship’s stern showed signs of having a central rudder, which didn’t start appearing on ships until the late 13th century. Using evidence of light corrosion, as well as rudder style, researchers have narrowed the ship’s possible age to no earlier than 1300 and no later than 1850Ødegård told CNN
Blurry underwater photos of the boat show that the ship is made of wood and was built with planks stacked on top of each other, an ancient Norse technique used during the Viking Age, according to Live Science.
Ødegård told CNN that the vessel likely sank due to bad weather as it was found in the middle of the lake.
Shortly after the researchers discovered the site, the weather changed and they were no longer able to investigate the wreck with a television crew, Ødegård told the media. The team plans to return to the site next year once conditions improve.
Previous expeditions have discovered about 20 wrecks in the lake’s shallows, according to The Smithsonian Magazine. But Mission Mjøsa is the first project to explore the greater depths of the lake.
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.