Saturday, October 20, 2018


 20 October 2018 If it seems as though we talk/write a lot about the discovery of wrecks, I reckon it's because new ones keep turning up. Is it more exploration, shifting sands, expanding harbors (dredging, as in this case) or just really good research and and exploration? We don't know, but suggest it might be a combination of all four. Or just plain dumb luck - especially when the wrecks are found in shallow water, as this one was.

Here's the latest, courtesy of Dina Kesbeh (BBC by way of Europe desk NPR).

A 400-year-old shipwreck that signified a time when the spice trade between Portugal and India was booming has been uncovered 40 feet below the water's surface during a dredging project.
The shipwreck was discovered off the coast of Cascais, Portugal, not far from the capital, Lisbon.

According to BBC, archaeologists believe the ship sank as it was returning from a voyage to India sometime between 1575 and 1625.
Divers searching the wreck have found spices, nine bronze cannons that were engraved with the Portuguese coat of arms, Chinese ceramics and cowrie shells, which were once used as currency to trade slaves, according to Reuters. 

Jorge Freire, project director, told Reuters that this "is the discovery of the decade."
In Portugal, this is the most important find of all time," Freire says.
The Portuguese government's directorate-general for cultural heritage plans to examine the items found aboard the wreck, The Guardian reports.
Freire tells the newspaper, "We found the ship on 4 September, using a geophysical survey and divers, and spent four days working on the site."

The last time a Portuguese shipwreck was discovered, was in 1994. The ship, Our Lady of the Martyrs, was found in the same general area, close to a military defense complex near Cascais.


And yet another one gives up its secrets to underwater archeologists. 

Until next time, 
                                  Fair winds,
                                        Old Salt

Monday, October 15, 2018


15 October 2018: This article, from Associated Press, is particularly timely what with the discovery of the Viking sword recently by a young girl in Sweden and another found last year by a hunter in Norway. Seems as though Viking artifacts are turning up with a greater frequency. We find it quite exciting. We hope you will find it interesting.

Archaeologists in Norway have used ground-penetrating radar technology to discover an extremely rare Viking longship in what experts are describing as a “sensational” find.

A team from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) harnessed high-resolution georadar to locate the ship in Østfold County, southeastern Norway. The 66-foot vessel, which is located in a burial mound, is just beneath the topsoil at a depth of 1.6 feet.

“The data indicate that the lower part of the ship is still preserved,” said NIKU, in a statement, noting that the ship’s keel and floor timbers appear to be visible.
Dr. Knut Paasche, head of the department of digital archaeology at NIKU, described the find as “incredibly exciting” in the statement, adding that only three well-preserved Viking ships have been found in Norway.

“We are certain that there is a ship there, but how much is preserved is hard to say before further investigation,” said Morten Hanisch, county conservator in Østfold, in the statement.

Archaeologists have also identified eight previously-unknown burial mounds, which have been destroyed by plowing, at the site. Additionally, georadar data revealed five longhouses, some of which are “remarkably large.”
Viking families lived in windowless longhouses, which also served as a shelter for their cattle. [yuck!- ed.]

The site is the next to a monumental Viking burial mound. The longship thus forms part of a cemetery that is clearly designed to display power and influence, according to NIKU project leader Lars Gustavsen. “The ship-burial does not exist in isolation,” he said in a statement.

The longship is just the latest fascinating archaeological find from the time of the Vikings. An 8-year-old girl recently discovered a 1,500-year-old Viking sword in a Swedish lake.

Earlier this year, an incredible trove of silver treasure linked to the era of a famous Viking king was discovered on an island in the Baltic Sea. Hundreds of 1,000-year-old silver coins, rings, pearls, and bracelets were found on the German island of Ruegen.

Last year, an incredibly well-preserved Viking sword was found by a reindeer hunter on a remote mountain in Southern Norway. In 2016, archaeologists in Trondheim, Norway, unearthed the church where Viking King Olaf Haraldsson was first enshrined as a saint.

Also, in 2016, a tiny Viking crucifix was found in Denmark.

Should more on this find turn up (and we see it!) we will update this in the future. 

Until next time, 
                                 Fair Winds,
                                         Old Salt