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stepping stones of maritime history


Three logboats were excavated in Stralsund in Germany in 2002. Two of them were around 7.000 years old and are the oldest boats found in the Baltic area. The third was about 6.000 years old.

The two oldest logboats from Stralsund are from the Mesolithic period and were between 8 and 9 meters long. They show signs of having a fireplace in the aft area. The fire was isolated from the vessel with a layer of sand and clay. The possible use was to attract fish with the light at night and/or to cook and stay warm during longer journeys. The boats were propelled with wooden paddles.

During the Neolithic period, between 4.000 and 3.500 BC, this area was used for agriculture and pastoralism. The youngest boat was from this period and was approximately 12 meters long.

Ertebølle Culture

The stone age dwellers along the banks of the Strelasund Channel must have been in close contact with other inhabitants in northern Germany, Denmark and southern Sweden. With their similar living conditions, tools and technological developments, this site is considered to belong to the with the Ertebølle Culture that was prevalent there in this period.

paddle from the site?


A paddle found during the excavations.


Alternative type name: is a dugout canoe.

The logboat from the Neolithicwas hewn from a large linden tree trunk, which being a soft wood is easily worked with stone axes. At present, this is the longest known logboat from the southwest Baltic area (12 m).

The logboat from Stralsund is broken in many piecesand pressed by the weight of the overlying sediments.(image, G. Schindler and P. Kaute, LKD M_V).

G. Schindler and P. Kaute

The logboats from Stralsund were broken in many pieces and pressed flat by the weight of the overlying sediments.


The finds were removed for conservation.

Plan of one of the logboats

B. Martin

Plan of one of the sites.


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