A wreck found in Jorefjorden, north of Hamburgsund, Sweden has proved to be of a ship probably built in the early 1200s, making it the oldest shipwreck located in the Bohuslän archipelago to date.
The wreck was discovered in an aerial photograph in the summer of 2008 by HydroGIS Ltd, which reported the find to the County Museum of Bohuslän.
A survey by the museum’s marine archaeologists indicated that the shallow wreck may well be of some age and to confirm this wood samples were collected last year.
These samples have now been studied by His Linderson at Lund University. Using dendrochronological analysis , he was able to ascertain that one of the samples was from a tree grown in western Germany or perhaps Belgium between 1210 – 1220 AD.
A shipwreck from the 1200s has never been found in this region before and marine archaeologists are excited about the discovery.
Ship types from this period are poorly understood, and an investigation of the wreck in Jorefjorden could therefore provide important new information on shipbuilding technology.
It is entirely possible that this may have been a laden cargo ship and if so it would provide insights into 13th century commercial trade in the region. Marine archaeologists are hoping to proceed with a closer examination of the wreckage over the next year if funding can be found.
The initial dating of the wreck was part of Bohuslän Museum’s ongoing project “Medieval trades and transport structures in the Bohuslän archipelago” and was part financed by the Carl Jacob Lindberg’s Monument Fund.