In the Stockholm archipelago another extremely well preserved shipwreck in Swedish waters has been discovered by sports divers. After the so-called Ghost Wreck (click here for the Ghostwreck) and the Sea Horse, both at more than 100 metres of depth, this wreck has been kept in only 40 metres of water. The wreck is called the 'lion wreck' after a wooden sculpture from the wreck.
According to dr. Johan Rönnby from the Sodertorn Hogskolla the ship appears to be a Dutch fluyt of the 17th century, like the Ghostwreck. This however will be subject of research in the next months.
Up until very recently there were no wrecks of fluyt (Flute) ships from this period known. Within a few years two very well preserved examples have been discovered.
The flute was developed by Dutch shipbuilders from (just before) 1600 onwards and has been used in specific form for trade to the Baltic. The narrow deck yet a spacious hull being a way to pay low taxes in the Sont (the Sound toll). All ships coming from the North Sea entered the Baltic region through the Sound which was in control by Denmark. The toll price was partly based on the width of the deck.
Benno van Tilburg from Cultural Heritage Agency expresses the wish to save, conserve and exhibit at least one of the wrecks in Holland:
Sweden has the Vasa, England The Mary Rose for The Netherlands it would be very interesting to have a fluytship on display in Lelystad.
There, conservation facilities, an open depot with more conserved (parts of) shipwrecks and e.g. the replica of the Batavia can be visited.
In the mean time, the site will be investigated thoroughly in situ by the archaeologists to identify its origin, its exact age, building construction, cargo, etc.: all according to the international standards set for conducting underwater archaeological research.
First expedition will be executed at the end of August 2009.
We will keep you informed.