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400-year-old ship found on the bottom of the Baltic Sea

Divers from Finland have accidentally discovered an old wooden boat. It was 85 meters under the waters of the Baltic Sea and with minor damage from a collision that sank it four centuries ago.

Except for minor damage to the mast, deck and bow, the hull of the ship is almost intact. It is a Dutch filibote, a type of vessel common in international trade between the 16th and 18th centuries, although unusual in the field of underwater archeology.

The ship carried no weapons but was capable of storing a lot of cargo. It was also equipped with advanced technical features for its time, which allowed it to be piloted by a smaller than normal crew.

The design of the filibotes (‘Fluyts’ in Dutch) was very similar to that of the galleons of that time. It had a narrow deck, to evade the heavy taxes imposed by Denmark on the Oresund Strait, which were calculated based on the size of the main deck

The Badewanne Dive Team, made up of Finnish volunteer divers, came across the find while searching for WWI and WWII shipwrecks at the mouth of the Gulf of Finland.

“This shipwreck offers a unique opportunity to investigate the development of this type of ship that sailed across all seas. It was a tool that laid the foundations for modern globalization, ”says Dr. Niklas Eriksson, a marine archaeologist at Stockholm University.

Wooden shipwrecks can only survive in a few places in the world. The low salinity of the Baltic Sea, in combination with the absolute darkness and low temperatures throughout the year, have protected the filibote from being destroyed by chemical, biochemical and biological decomposition processes.

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The environment also protected the boat from organisms that attack wood, such as teredos – a group of bivalve mollusks also known as “wood worms” – that do not live in such conditions.

Source: Euronews


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