Shipwreck Discovered in Polish River May Date Back to Medieval Times


Archaeologists have discovered the site of a shipwreck in a Polish river which may date back to medieval times.

The wreck was found along the bottom of the Vistula River located north of Warsaw, Poland.

The vessel itself is nearly 20-feet wide and 121-feet long.

“This is most likely a large transport vessel that was used from the 14th to the 18th century,” Artur Brzóska of the Association of Archaeologists Jutra, an underwater archaeologist and head of the research project, told the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education’s Science in Poland website.

This shipwreck is also noteworthy because of how complete it is.

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“The wreck is relatively well-preserved and seems complete,” Brzóska told Newsweek, “which is very rare, because so far only one almost complete wreck of this type of unit was known in Poland — the so-called ‘Szkuta from Czersk.'”

The Szkuta wreck was excavated in 2018, according to Brzóska, and is currently being conserved by the State Archaeological Museum in Warsaw.

The ship found at the bottom of the Vistula River may have been able to carry over 100 tons of cargo, scientists say.

Due to poor visibility and strong currents, however, researchers weren’t able to find any artifacts near the wreck.

“We probably can’t count on much anyway. I believe that the boat probably transported grain to Gdańsk,” Brzóska told SIP. “Such goods could not be preserved.”

During the same research project, archaeologists also discovered remains of a bridge dating back to World War II at the bottom of the Vistula River.

The remains consisted of “five piles driven into the bottom of the river,” according to SIP, and a steel frame.

“Our analyses and historical information show that the bridge was built by German sappers,” Brzóska told SIP.

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The discoveries were made using sonar technology that was attached to a motorboat, allowing researchers to survey about 250 miles of the river.

“It should be added that it was a pioneering scientific project in our country,” Brzóska told Newsweek. “Nobody has ever studied such a large stretch of the river so thoroughly.”

The research project was funded by Poland’s Ministry of Culture and Scientific Heritage and the Institute of Archaeology of the University of Warsaw.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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