Two historic shipwrecks found right in central Stockholm

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Two historic shipwrecks found right in central Stockholm
Divers looking for a ship in central Stockholm. Photo: Anders P Näsberg/Statens maritima museer

Another two shipwrecks dating back to at least the 1600s have been found in central Stockholm.


"They are old, big and strong, just like the ones we've found in the past," said Jim Hansson, marine archaeologist at the Maritime Museum (Sjöhistoriska museet), in a press statement.

The two wrecks were found earlier this month lying side by side on the bottom of the sea right next to the Skeppsholmen islet, near one of Stockholm's iconic floating hostels, af Chapman.

Stockholm's rich maritime history makes its archipelago a treasure trove for shipwreck hunters. But the latest finds were discovered by chance, when divers were sent out to examine the seabed ahead of the popular boating race ÅF Offshore Race, which is taking place in July.

"They are not named, unfortunately, so far. When we find out what year they are from, there is a chance their identity could be found in various archives," said Hansson.

Historic vessels are a fascinating, but not unusual, discovery in the Swedish capital's shipwreck graveyard.

In 1961, the Vasa, a Swedish warship, was salvaged from just outside Stockholm harbour. The ship, which foundered on her maiden voyage in 1628, was largely intact and has since become one of Sweden's most popular tourist attractions.

Last summer marine archaeologists found as many as 15 wrecks in the area between Kastellholmen and Skeppsholmen, all dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. And researchers believe the newest find is from the same period.

"Everything indicates that they are 17th-century ships or older. They are constructed in the same way and are decomposed in the same way, although these are a bit more decomposed because they are located right in the flow of water," said Hansson.

Next, he and his team will attempt to create a digital 3D model of the wrecks while scientists establish what time period they are from, using wood samples from the ships.

"We're going to know more in a few weeks, perhaps we'll even know what ships we're talking about," said Hansson.


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