Andrei Ossiptshuk

Amateur diver finds 13th-century chest

13th-Century Chest

From Erkki Sivonen - ERR


Recreational diver Andrei Ossiptshuk, diving in the Bay of Tallinn in August, came up with a merchant's chest dropped some eight centuries ago.

The chest lay among the rocks a little off the Tallinn waterfront at the depth of seven meters.

When opened, it yielded yellow brass scales, a set of tin weights, several leather knife sheaths, knife handles and some 13th-century coins.

According to Maili Roio, advisor at the Heritage Board, the find is unique and very well preserved. "I don't think there has been a find quite like this one".

The objects probably belonged to a petty merchant in Tallinn, which by the 13th century had already become a major Baltic port and trade hub.

The Estonian History Museum has been tasked with the conservation of the rare antiques.