Amateur diver finds 13th-century chest

13th-Century Chest

From Erkki Sivonen - ERR


Recreational diver Andrei Ossiptshuk, diving in the Bay of Tallinn in August, came up with a merchant's chest dropped some eight centuries ago.

The chest lay among the rocks a little off the Tallinn waterfront at the depth of seven meters.

When opened, it yielded yellow brass scales, a set of tin weights, several leather knife sheaths, knife handles and some 13th-century coins.

According to Maili Roio, advisor at the Heritage Board, the find is unique and very well preserved. "I don't think there has been a find quite like this one".

The objects probably belonged to a petty merchant in Tallinn, which by the 13th century had already become a major Baltic port and trade hub.

The Estonian History Museum has been tasked with the conservation of the rare antiques.

Chest amateur diver Andrei Ossiptshuk Bay of Tallinn Heritage Board Maili Roio