Photo Marin Mätteknik
By Brandon Keim - Wired
The Baltic Sea's floor is a marine archaeologist's delight: Shipworms and other wood-gobbling organisms can't survive in its cold, brackish water, and sunken ships are preserved intact for centuries.
"Archaeology is often about research and reconstruction of scarcely distinguishable residues, hard-to-interpret remnants or crumbling ruins.
Not so with the Ghost Ship," wrote Swedish archaeologists Niklas Eriksson and Johann Rönnby of this 17th century Dutch trading vessel, its name a reference to its uncanny degree of preservation.
"The Ghost Ship is an exceptional maritime archaeological find, which in terms of its state of preservation probably has few equals in the world."
Carved knightheads, a structural element used to tie mooring lines to a ship's bow, are visible in the photo above.
Archaeologists hope the ship will teach them about the techniques of Dutch shipbuilders, who by the 17th century were among the world's finest, helping the tiny nation define itself in a newly globalized world.