Maritime archaeology reports

Here you can read a summary of reports from surveys and excavations by the Viking Ship Museum.

The full reports are written in Danish language (Marinarkæologiske rapporter). They can be downloaded by clicking on the title.

You can use the program Adobe Reader to view the reports.

 

Kalundborg West Harbour

J.no. 2506

Published March 2008

The Viking Ship Museum carried out a preliminary marine archaeology study prior to the construction of a new harbour in Kalundborg Fjord.  The affected sea floor area covered approximately 1 million square metres. No intact culture layers were identified, but in an area close to the coast where there were tree trunks and organic silt, there were a few sharp edged and unpatinated pieces of flint, charcoal and flint made brittle by fire etc. These were however secondary deposits . Moreover, along the coast both on land and in shallow water, extremely water-worn and very patinated flint was collected. The preliminary study did not provide grounds for the Cultural Heritage Authority to request further studies.

Dating: Mesolithic, 9000 – 3900 BC.

 

Knudedyb

J.no. 2503

Published February 2008

Pieces of wreckage from a medieval ship were fished up in Knudedyb in 2006. The pieces of wreckage that were fished up are documented in 3D and the wreck that they come from has been investigated using side-scan sonar and diver observations.  During the investigations by divers, another plank was found that may come from the medieval ship, as well as a heavy kelson from another, younger vessel. No intact wreck was found in situ, but it is probably still located in the area but covered by the strong sand movements.

Dating: Medieval (1264 AD) and the Modern Era.

 

Gilleleje

J. no. 2531

Published January 2008

A loose cannon, a 3-pound ‘finbanker’ found by an underwater hunter has been taken home out of regard for the safety of the artefact. The object probably arrived at the find location with material scooped up in nearby Gilleleje Harbour. A fragment of a ship’s plank made from beech wood with traces of copper sheathing was found immediately beneath the object.

Dating: Post-Reformation/Modern Era, 1593-1811 AD.

 

Strandmøllen 2

J. no. 2528

Published December 2007

The wreck of a solidly built wooden ship found by the sports diving club Kon-Tiki was examined in order to determine the scale, nature and age of the find.  The visible wreckage covers an area of approximately 15x30 metres and consists of two flat, closely framed wreckage floes and a number of disconnected pieces. The wreckage floes must come from the ship’s sides and its bottom must therefore be located somewhere in the vicinity. Samples have been taken for dendrochronological dating.

Dating: Post-Reformation/Modern Era, 1593-1811 AD.
 

Roskilde Harbour, Wreck 9

J. no. 1534

Published January 2007

In connection with the construction in 1996-97 of a museum harbour in an area previously used as a harbour apron and car park at Roskilde Harbour, archaeological monitoring of the excavation and dredging work inside and at the front of the new harbour basins was established. The background for this was a suspicion that the maritime sediments deposited in the immediate vicinity of Roskilde’s Viking and medieval harbour could contain the remains of wrecks and harbour installations. The investigation of Roskilde Harbour 9 revealed the remains of an approximately 11 meter long cargo ship from 1171. The vessel, which was found during the excavation of Roskilde 4, was relatively poorly preserved and was damaged both during the construction work for the wharf and the excavation of Roskilde 4.  The vessel had the mast placed in a step in the mast frame and was therefore not equipped with a kelson. Pieces of bark were also found in the tar on the vessel, which indicates that it was used to transport firewood.  The find is documented on a 1:1 scale but no attempt has yet been made to analyse the material. The find was made at a depth of 0.6 m DNN and was evidently wrecked or broken in shallow water just below the medieval Saint Jørgensbjerg, in the centre of Roskilde’s harbour area at that time. 

Dating: Middle Ages, 1171 AD.

 

Roskilde Harbour, Wreck 8

J. no. 1493

Published January 2007

In connection with the construction in 1996-97 of a museum harbour in an area previously used as a harbour apron and car park at Roskilde Harbour, archaeological monitoring of the excavation and dredging work inside and at the front of the new harbour basins was established. The background for this was a suspicion that the maritime sediments deposited in the immediate vicinity of Roskilde’s Viking and medieval harbour could contain the remains of wrecks and harbour installations. Roskilde 8 is the wreck of a clinker-built vessel, which seems to have sunk for unknown reasons in approximately 3 metres of water on the roads just outside Roskilde. The vessel, which has only been investigated to a very limited extent, can be identified as probably being a small craft of up to 12 metres in length based on the dimensions of iron dowels, planks and timbers. The wreck was dated dendrochronologically.

Dating: Middle Ages, 1248 AD.

 

Roskilde Harbour, Wreck 7

J. no. 1483

Published January 2007

In connection with the construction in 1996-97 of a museum harbour in an area previously used as a harbour apron and car park at Roskilde Harbour, archaeological monitoring of the excavation and dredging work inside and at the front of the new harbour basins was established. The background for this was a suspicion that the maritime sediments deposited in the immediate vicinity of Roskilde’s Viking and medieval harbour could contain the remains of wrecks and harbour installations. Roskilde 7 is the wreck of a clinker-built vessel, which seems to have sunk for unknown reasons in approximately 2 metres of water on the roads just outside Roskilde. The vessel can be identified as probably being a small craft of up to 11 metres, based on the dimensions of iron dowels, planks and timbers. The sinking is dendrochronologically dated to after 1270, when a repair was performed on the vessel. The date of building was a few years before this date. The building location has been determined to being within medieval Denmark. In addition to the intact wreck, the find also includes a number of parts, mainly frame timbers from another vessel that may possibly be dated to after 1229 and which originated in northern Germany. Part of a stern post was also found, which does not belong to the intact wreck, but which also cannot be connected to the other find at present.

Dating: Middle Ages, 1270 AD.

 

Roskilde Harbour, Wreck 6

J. no. 1482

Published January 2007

In connection with the construction in 1996-97 of a museum harbour in an area previously used as a harbour apron and car park at Roskilde Harbour, archaeological monitoring of the excavation and dredging work inside and at the front of the new harbour basins was established. The background for this was a suspicion that the maritime sediments deposited in the immediate vicinity of Roskilde’s Viking and medieval harbour could contain the remains of wrecks and harbour installations. The investigation of Roskilde Harbour 6 revealed the remains of an approximately 36 meter long longship from the 11th century. At the time of writing, the individual ship’s parts are only partly documented and the find cannot yet be described in more detail. However, it is clear that the ship has several characteristics that are interesting, including a complicated design of the scarfs between the keel and the frame and a carefully designed system to attach the keelson with a beautifully crafted, horizontal, T-shaped keelson bracket. The ship was evidently broken up in shallow water below the medieval Saint Jørgensbjerg, which was in the centre of Roskilde‘s harbour area at that time.

Dating: Late Viking era or early medieval era, about 1050 AD.  

 

Roskilde Harbour, Wreck 5

J. no. 1481

Published January 2007

In connection with the construction in 1996-97 of a museum harbour in an area previously used as a harbour apron and car park at Roskilde Harbour, archaeological monitoring of the excavation and dredging work inside and at the front of the new harbour basins was established. The background for this was a suspicion that the maritime sediments deposited in the immediate vicinity of Roskilde’s Viking and medieval harbour could contain the remains of wrecks and harbour installations. Roskilde 5 is the wreck of a clinker-built vessel, which seems to have sunk for unknown reasons in approximately 1.8 metres of water on the roads just outside Roskilde. The vessel, which is only partly preserved, was originally 14 meters long at most, probably slightly shorter. It is lightly and elegantly constructed and it cannot be ruled out that it was both sailed and rowed. It is not built for heavy cargos, but may have been used as a fishing boat or to transport people. The ship had been extensively repaired at the time it sank and it was probably quite old at that time. The find has been dated to about 1131-36 and the extensive use of pine in combination with a few oak planks indicate a provenance on the Scandinavian peninsula, probably in the Kattegat-Skagerrak area. Part of a small model cargo ship was found along with the vessel, but without any other connection to it.

Dating: Middle Ages, 1131-1136 AD.

 

Karrebæksminde

J. no. 531

Published December 2006

Due to the increased sedimentation of Susåen, Karrebæksminde became the outport for Næstved sometime during the Renaissance, at the very latest. A breakwater was constructed to protect the approach. This breakwater is partly exposed on the seabed and is threatened by natural erosion. The Cultural Heritage Authority has therefore granted a sum of money from the so-called §28 funds to survey, describe and date the installation.

Dating: Post-Reformation/Modern Era, 1593-1811 AD.

 

Roskilde Harbour, Wreck 4

J. no. 1480

Published December 2006

In connection with the construction in 1996-97 of a museum harbour in an area previously used as a harbour apron and car park at Roskilde Harbour, archaeological monitoring of the excavation and dredging work inside and at the front of the new harbour basins was established. The background for this was a suspicion that the maritime sediments deposited in the immediate vicinity of Roskilde’s Viking and medieval harbour could contain the remains of wrecks and harbour installations. The investigation of Roskilde 4 revealed the quite well preserved remains of an approximately 20.5 metre long cargo ship from the beginning of the 12th century. At the time of writing, the individual ship’s parts have not yet been documented and the find cannot yet be described in more detail. However, it is clear that the ship has several characteristics that attract attention, including a complicated design and attachment of the keelson, a frame system that is quite intact in places, with bites and beams and an unusual, flat hull shape. The ship evidently sank in the transition from deep to shallow water just below the medieval Saint Jørgensbjerg, which was in the centre of Roskilde‘s harbour area at that time.

Dating: Middle Ages, about 1100 AD.

 

Roskilde Harbour, Wreck 3

J. no. 1479

Published December 2006

In connection with the construction in 1996-97 of a museum harbour in an area previously used as a harbour apron and car park at Roskilde Harbour, archaeological monitoring of the excavation and dredging work inside and at the front of the new harbour basins was established. The background for this was a suspicion that the maritime sediments deposited in the immediate vicinity of Roskilde’s Viking and medieval harbour could contain the remains of wrecks and harbour installations. The investigation of Roskilde Harbour wreck 3 exposed an approximately 20 metre long clinker-built vessel, built from oak and with wooden dowels made of pine. The ship, which has been dendrochronologically dated to around 1060-65, probably comes from Jutland/Slesvig-Holstein. The ship, which only shows signs of minor repairs, has been pulled over wooden logs into low water and broken up there so that only parts of the planking, primarily on the starboard side, and parts of the keel and a few frame fragments have been preserved. The vessel is unusual in that it has a frame distance of only 77 cm, which was very short for that time. Furthermore, it is unusual that the ship’s iron dowels, like those in Roskilde 2, have spikes on the underside of the heads.

Dating: Middle Ages, 1060-1065 AD.

 

Roskilde Harbour, Wreck 2

J. no. 1469

Published November 2006

In connection with the construction in 1996-97 of a museum harbour in an area previously used as a harbour apron and car park at Roskilde Harbour, archaeological monitoring of the excavation and dredging work inside and at the front of the new harbour basins was established. The background for this was a suspicion that the maritime sediments deposited in the immediate vicinity of Roskilde’s Viking and medieval harbour could contain the remains of wrecks and harbour installations. The investigation of Roskilde Harbour wreck 2 revealed an approximately 16.5 metre long and 4.5 metre wide clinker-built vessel with a draught of about 1.1 metres and a sharply built underwater hull. The vessel, of which about 30% is preserved, was built of oak and pine around 1185, probably in western Sweden. It has a few repairs, but does not seem worn and was probably only a few years old when it sank at the end of Roskilde Fjord. The vessel is unusual in that the floor timbers are attached to the keel with wooden dowels and spaces for the clinker roves were notched into the keel for the dowels that connect the keel to the keel-board. ”Installation 2”, "Installation 3” and "Installation 4” were also excavated during this excavation. These consist of smaller finds of ship parts that are unconnected to Roskilde Harbour wreck 2.

Dating: Medieval period, about 1185 AD.

 

Roskilde Harbour, Wreck 1

J. no. 1441

Published October 2006

In connection with dredging work when building a museum harbour at Roskilde, a stem and associated hooding ends originating from a medieval vessel were lifted from the seabed 5 September 1996. Diver investigations subsequently demarcated the wreck site (find complex 1) with the intention of carrying out excavations in the summer of 1997. Shortly afterwards, dredging work between the wreck site and land made another find of similar ships’ parts only a few meters from find complex 1. The extent of these finds was determined by probing and they were excavated in the autumn of 1996 (find complex 2). The excavation of find complex 1 was performed in August-September 1997. Preliminary analyses have shown that find complex 1 represents an almost 10 meter long, clinker-built, open vessel from the 14th or 15th century. The bottom, stem and parts of the starboard side are preserved. This find is hereafter referred to as "Roskilde 1a”. Find complex 2 represents parts of the port side of a slightly smaller vessel, which was about 9 metres long and has been dendrochronologically dated to about 1336. This find is hereafter referred to as "Roskilde 1b”.

Dating: Middle Ages, 1300-1400 AD.

 

Hjarnø boat harbour, Horsens Fjord

J. no. 2439

Published October 2006

The Viking Ship Museum carried out a marine archaeology survey in connection with the construction of a new harbour for Hjarnø ferry. This revealed a few fragments and pieces of flint made brittle by fire. The artefacts were washed out rebedded and lie at a deeper level than the dredging depth. No further marine archaeology measures are considered necessary.

Dating: Stone Age.

 

Amager Strandpark, area 4

J. no. 2322

Published March 2006

A number of surveys were carried out before the construction of Amager Strandpark.  A marine archaeology pilot study was carried out in 2003 while the area was still covered by water. This pilot study was followed up in 2004 with further studies in the areas that had now been drained. 16 test trenches were dug in area 4 and a sediment area of 230x28 metres was identified with well-preserved fragments of hazel rods, tree trunks and roots. The test excavation found 53 pieces of worked flint, including a rhombic crooked arrow of the Villingebæk type. There was a Stone Age settlement immediately east or southeast of area 4. Based on the rhombic arrow head it can be dated to the Kongemose culture.

Dating: Stone Age, Kongemose culture, 6800-5400 BC.

 

Strandhuse, Kolding Fjord

J. no. 2472

Published February 2006

A marine archaeology study carried out in connection with the construction of a waste water outlet at Strandhuse on the north side of Kolding Fjord showed sedimentation down to a depth of at least 1.15 metres. No contact was made with sterile subsoil at any point. A piece of pottery was discovered in a test hole in situ in the sediment 80-90 cm below the level of the seabed. The pottery is finely tempered, black and fired hard. It has no ornamentation or rim. The ware, firing and colour indicate a dating in the 15th century.

Dating: Middle Ages, 1400 AD.

 

Nakskov Channel & Barneholm

J. no. 2467 & 2468

Published February 2006

Between the 7th and the 21st of September 2005, the Viking Ship Museum carried out a marine archaeology pilot study for Nakskov Harbour in connection with plans by Nakskov Harbour and Nakskov Municipality to deepen and extend Nakskov Channel.  The existing channel is 40 metres wide (bottom width) and about 6.5 metres deep. A large part of it follows the natural water current channel, but the part between Enehøje and Kuddeholm/Barneholm has been artificially excavated. There is a narrow sediment border in the area outside Barneholm with a large number of flints, bones etc. The area is estimated to be a regular waste disposal site from a nearby Stone Age settlement from 4800-4200 BC. The sediment will probably be eroded away over the next few years. This is partly due to the shipping traffic, which causes a great deal of drag on the channel's sharply marked edges at precisely this very narrow and shallow section, and partly because of crabs who dig in the sediment and make it even more vulnerable to erosion. It is estimated that the waste disposal area is 20-30 square metres and the Viking Ship Museum recommends that the area should be investigated further before it disappears. No archaeological specimens, remains of Stone Age settlements, culture layers or installations that could be threatened by the dredging or the passage of large ships were discovered in the other areas.

Dating: Stone Age, Ertebølle culture, 4800-4200 BC.

 

Nakskov Havn

J. no. 2457

Published December 2005

Using Nakskov Harbour’s mobile crane, a test excavation was carried out along the South Quay (Quay VIII) and the Toldbod Quay (Quay XI) in connection with the dredging of Nakskov Harbour in an area alongside the medieval town.  There were no culture layers found along the test excavated quays that can be related to the Medieval period or to the Renaissance and no further investigations are required here. Earlier dredging opposite the examined quays has been so intensive that there are probably no intact culture layers from the Medieval period or the Renaissance.

 

Holbæk Fjord

J. no. 2455

Published November 2005

The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde carried out a marine archaeology pilot study in connection with the construction of a new waste water pipe across Holbæk Fjord from Markeslev sewage treatment plant to Holbæk central sewage treatment plant. No installations or intact culture levels were discovered during the project. The pipeline crosses an area at Sandhage where there has been a settlement in the immediate vicinity. However, the relatively small numbers of pieces of flint and there nature did not provide grounds for further investigations.

Dating: Stone Age.

 

Lynæs Harbour, Stage 1

J. no. 2470

Published October 2005

Pilot study in connection with the expansion of Lynæs Harbour, 2005. No finds.

 

 

Vordingborg Nord Harbour

J. no. 0076

Published July 2005

In 2005, the Viking Ship Museum carried out minor excavations and monitoring in connection with the dredging of Vordingborg Nordhavn.  There was a small number of finds from the medieval period and the modern era. Both wrecks and channel barriers from the early medieval period are already know in Vordingborg Nordhavn.

Dating: Early Middle Ages, 1100-1200 AD.

 

Amager Strandpark, area 6

J. no. 2322

Published March 2005

A number of surveys were carried out before the construction of Amager Strandpark.  A marine archaeology pilot study was carried out in 2003 while the area was still covered by water. This pilot study was followed up in 2004 with further studies in the areas that had now been drained. Test excavation of area 6. Seven test trenches over an area of 120 x 90 metres identified a sediment layer of 50 metres width and with a major content of well-preserved wood and plant parts. 80 pieces of worked flint were collected, including 7 tools, 41 flakes and 2 micro-flakes which were spread out, probably rebedded.

Dating: Stone Age. Kongemose or Maglemose culture, 8000-6000 BC.

 

Amager Strandpark, wreck

J. no. 2423

Published January 2005

A small wreck was found in 2004 in connection with the construction of Amager Strandpark. Most of it was destroyed and dredged up. The wreck was found with its bottom up and aligned north-south with its bow to the south. It is estimated to have been a wreck of about 10 metres length with wooden and iron dowels. The preserved part in situ of the wreck consisted of parts of the stern, strakes and floor timbers, all in oak. Dating based on dendrochronological tests has been identified as between 1558 and 1600 AD. It was probably built in eastern Denmark or in Skåne in Sweden.

 

Amager Strandpark, area 7

J. no. 2322

Published September 2004

A number of surveys were carried out before the construction of Amager Strandpark.  A marine archaeology pilot study was carried out in 2003 while the area was still covered by water. This pilot study was followed up in 2004 with further studies in the areas that had now been drained. The test excavation of area 7, where a canal was to be constructed and which would destroy the sediment level. 15 parallel trenches were dug, 2 metres wide, and 13-16 metres long. A small quantity of charcoal, hazel nut shells, carbonized wood and 2 rebedded shards and flint made brittle by fire. A sample of alder wood was extracted for dating.

Dating: Stone Age, 8000-4000 BC.

 

Italiensvej, Amager Strandpark

J. no. 2322 & 2323 Published June 2004 A number of surveys were carried out before the construction of Amager Strandpark.  A marine archaeology pilot study was carried out in 2003 while the area was still covered by water. The pilot study resulted in e.g. in a 20,000 square metre area with sediment deposits. Rebedded settlement flint and recent artefacts were found in the northern part of the area. In the southern part, 2 find concentrations could be isolated 10-20 cm under the current seabed level in 1.2 metres of water in preserved culture layers of up to 50 cm thickness. There were large quantities of settlement flint from the Kongemose culture /Villingebæk phase (about 6000 BC). The layers also contained bones of terrestrial and marine animals, including seals and previously unknown species for this period such as swordfish, sturgeon and tuna.  Worded wood was also discovered, including a possible fragment from a dugout boat.

Dating: Stoneage, Kongemose culture, 6000 BC. 

 

Karrebæksminde Bay

J. no. 2325

Published June 2004

Pilot study of raw material extraction area in Karrebæksminde Bay in 2004. No finds.