Astonishing 700-Year-Old Medieval Norwegian Shipwreck Found In Lake
A team of researchers from Norway recently uncovered a medieval treasure at the bottom of Mjøsa, the largest lake in Norway.
A team of researchers from Norway recently uncovered a medieval treasure at the bottom of Mjøsa, the largest lake in Norway. The surprise discovery of the 700-year-old shipwreck came during a government research mission scouring the bottom of the lake with high-resolution sonar technology.
According to CNN, the vessel was accidentally discovered at 1,350 feet below the surface while archeologists were on a government research mission to map the 140-square-mile lake bed. The shipwreck is near-pristine and dates back to somewhere after the 1300s, and is believed to have gone down due to bad weather, given its location in the middle of the lake.
The sonar images show the unique look of the vessel, which is distinctive of a “clinker-built” ship, a traditional Norse boatbuilding method during that time, LiveScience explains. The lake's environment is believed to have kept the vessel in exceptional condition, with only a few areas of corrosion.
The archeologists haven’t been able to investigate the wreck site further with camera equipment due to bad weather and poor visibility. However, conditions in the lake may approve next year to be able to get a close-up look at the medieval treasure.
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology research team accidentally stumbled upon the vessel while executing Mission Mjøsa. The government-funded project has a mission to map out the lake bed using a remotely operated vehicle to search for any munitions that had been dumped during World War II.
“My expectation was that there could also be shipwrecks discovered while we were mapping dumped munitions — that turned out to be the case,” Øyvind Ødegård, a senior researcher in marine archaeology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the mission’s principal investigator said.
“It was just purely that the statistical chance of finding shipwrecks that were well preserved was considered to be fairly high.”
The research team hopes to return to the lake next year for a closer look at the wreckage. Ødegård said as the mapping project continues, he anticipates more medieval discoveries will be made.
“We could find vessels from since the beginning of human activity in the area. They could be present and in good condition,” Ødegård said. “You can’t rule out anything.”