S. China Sea Ancient Shipwreck: Iron Anchor and Box FoundDIVEMONDO DIVEMONDO
Chinese archaeologists have made additional discoveries on one of the two 500-year-old shipwrecks containing Ming dynasty ceramics recently discovered in the South China Sea at a depth of approximately 1.500 meters.
An iron anchor and what appears to be a wooden container have been discovered approximately 50 meters southwest of the No. 1 shipwreck.
The one-meter-long anchor is partially submerged in sediment, but its flukes and a 20-centimeter-diameter ring at the summit of a 10-15-centimeter-diameter cylindrical shank are visible. It is unknown whether the anchor is from the No. 1 shipwreck.
The contents of the partially interred wooden trunk have yet to be investigated.
Most of the one hundred thousand ceramic artifacts are located on the No. 1 shipwreck from the early sixteenth century, heaped up to three meters high above the mostly buried vessel, which lies 20 kilometers away from the No. 2 shipwreck off the coast of Hainan island. On 21 May, archaeologists from China’s National Cultural Heritage Administration (NCHA) announced the discoveries.
The research is being conducted using manned submersible dives from a team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which originally found the wrecks last October, the NCHA’s National Centre for Archaeology, and the Museum of the South China Sea.
Norwegian wreck on camera
Researchers have captured a tantalizingly brief video footage from the 410-meter-deep lake bed of Norway’s deepest lake, Mjsa, disclosing details of what is believed to be the country’s earliest shipwreck.
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is investigating the site, discovered last year by a sonar-scanning AUV looking for hundreds of tonnes of live ordnance discarded by a factory in the lake between the 1940s and 1970s.
This month, ROVs will begin exploring the clinker-built shipwreck, which may date back to the 14th century and appears to have been constructed in the Viking manner.
It is ten meters long with a beam of two and a half meters and has overlapping timber planks that define clinker-built vessels. The degree to which the timbers have become lax due to the rusting of their fasteners will indicate how long the ship has been submerged.
The researchers have created a 3D boat model using sonar scanning, disclosing the stempost at the port and the transom at the aft, with the latter likely serving as the rudder.
The fleeting video does not reveal the tiller, but the absence of visible rowlocks suggests that the vessel was propelled by sail rather than oars. It has not yet been conclusively demonstrated that the craft is older than the mid-19th century.
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