14th century shipwreck off Swedish west coast
- On 14/02/2009
- In Underwater Archeology
By Dr. Martin Rundkvist
Bohuslän province on the west coast of Sweden is known internationally for its many and varied Bronze Age rock art sites.
But its archaeology is rich regardless of what period you look at. My maternal great-granddad's people came from Tanum and Kville parishes, so I'm sort of a Bohuslän aborigine.
The discovery of a Medieval shipwreck off the Bohuslän coast was recently announced. Or rather, the wreck has been known for centuries, and local tradition held it to date from the grim early-18th century reign of warrior king Carolus XII.
Now maritime archaeologist Staffan von Arbin from the County Museum has secured samples dating the vessel's construction to between 1310 and 1350. The samples also indicate England as the timber's most probable country of origin.
This may be a historically documented shipwreck: on 20 February 1361, King Edward III of England wrote to King Magnus Eriksson of Sweden and Norway with a complaint regarding the latter's seizure of goods from an English ship that had foundered right about the place where the newly dated wreck is.