By Rossela Lorenzi - Discovery News
Hungarian archaeologists have found what they believe may be an intact medieval shipwreck in the Danube river.
Partially buried in mud and gravel near the riverbank at Tahitótfalu, some 18 miles north of Budapest, the flat bottom river wreck has yet to be excavated.
A preliminary survey from the Argonauts Research Group in cooperation with the county museum of Szentendre, revealed that the ship is about 40 feet long and 10 feet wide.
The archaeologists could distinguish oak floor-planks, floor-timbers, and L-shaped ribs.
They also noticed that the junction piece of the bottom and the side wall of the wreck is carved from a single log.
"Only a few river ships of this kind have been found in Europe," Attila J. Tóth, associate of the National Office of Cultural Heritage, told Discovery News.
The ship most likely sank because of an accident.
"River navigation was dangerous. Downstream cargo ships floated using large rudder-oars, which made maneuvering very hard. Accidents happened very often," Tóth said.
The largest river of Central Europe, the Danube connected in the Middle Ages Hungary with the German Empire to the west and the Byzantine Empire to the south, serving as a waterway for intense commerce as well as a route for military campaigns.