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stepping stones of maritime history


Initially, this wreck found little interest, as the wooden construction did appear generic and was not thought to be particularly old.

The ship-timbers were privately stored and freeze-dried by the local resident Kaj Karlsson for many years, before it was decided to take samples for a dendrochronological analysis.


The samples were analysed at the University of Lund (Sweden), yielding a surprising result: The ship was built in the late 14th or early 15th century and the wood originated from at least two different locations: The pine timber from which mainly the frames were made originated from central or southern Finland, whereas the oak planks originated from Pomerania in modern-day Poland (the latter probably timber-imports).


Realising the significance, the timbers were transported to the Finnish Maritime Museum where they were incororated into the collections.


  • Linderson, H. (2006).
    Dendrokronologisk analys av Svartsåvraket, Finland: Nationella Laboratoriet för Vedanatomi och dendrokronologi, rapport nr 2006:15.
    Lund University.
  • Wessman, S. (2007).
    Ship Fragments on the Seafloor – What Do We Know about Medieval Seafaring in Finland?.
    In: V. Immonen, M. Lempiäinen, U. Rosendahl (eds.), Hortus Novus. Fresh Approaches to Medieval Archaeology in Finland, pp. 140-150.

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