Controversial pipeline project turns up marine archaeology treasures

From Yle News

A project for a natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany along the bed of the Baltic Sea is providing new, unique pictures of what lies hidden under the waters of the Gulf of Finland.

Underwater studies of the possible route of the controversial pipeline have already led to the discovery of five historically significant shipwrecks, and experts expect that many more will be found.

The company driving the project, NordStream, will still have to survey an area ten times as large as the 200 meter-wide strip along the proposed route that has already been examined.

In addition to the five wrecks that are considered valuable finds, it is almost certain that many more treasures will be discovered for marine archaeologists to study.

Photos of the sea bed are also a reminder of how exceptionally indifferent to the environment Baltic seafarers have been.

"So much junk has never been found anywhere else, from refrigerators to old cars," says Marine Archaeologist Stefan Wessman of Finland's National Board of Antiquities.

The well preserved shipwrecks are to be spared, even if the gas pipeline is built. So far, it has not yet been decided if any will be raised. However, to keep them safe, their locations are not being divulged.

Russia National Board of Antiquities Baltic sea Finland Germany Gulf of Finland NordStream Stefan Wessman