The wreck of a ship apparently dating from before 1700 has been discovered in central Stockholm, the Maritime Museum in the Swedish capital said Thursday. The discovery was made by labourers close to the royal place and in front of Stockholm's Grand Hotel during renovation works to a quay.
"The discovery of the wreck is extremely interesting given the place where it was made," said the museum's director Hans-Lennarth Ohlsson.
"There was a naval shipyard on this spot until the start of the 17th century," he said in a statement.
The wreck was not necessarily linked to the yard, however, and archaeologists have been unable to say how long before 1700 it might have sunk.
Samples would be sent to Denmark's Copenhagen National Museum in order to be dated as precisely as possible with the results expected by January 2011. The boat is believed to have come from the east of the Baltic, possibly from Russia.
In 1961, the Vasa, a Swedish warship, was salvaged from just outside Stockholm harbour. The ship, which foundered on her maiden voyage in 1628, was largely intact and has since become one of Sweden's most popular tourist attractions.