600-year-old wreck found in Stockholm

March 4, 2006

A 14th-century ship in the mud of a canal in Stockholm could shed light on medieval commerce and shipbuilding techniques.

The wreck in the Riddarfjarden Canal was discovered during the surveying for a new train tunnel, the British newspaper The Independent reported.

Archaeologists are trying to determine if the wreck could be salvaged and turned into a museum -- like the 17th-century warship Vasa, which sank on its maiden voyage in Stockholm Harbor and now occupies its own museum.

"What is so special is that it is under water, here in Stockholm," said Marcus Hjulhammar of the National Maritime Museum. "That makes it much more likely that it is well preserved than if it had been on land."

Experts who have examined the wreck believe the ship was built between 1350 and 1370 and sank sometime before 1400. The vessel appeared to have had hard use, with a leather patch covering a hole in the hull -- which might help explain why it went down.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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