A Ship From the Middle Ages Might Have Been Discovered in Norway

The Norwegian Defense Research Institute (FFI) embarked on a voyage over 1,300 feet below the surface of Norway’s biggest lake in November 2022. What researchers found was astounding! They discovered a ship that possibly sank in the lake’s depths more than 700 years ago. The vessel was 33 feet long.

Introducing the Mjøsa Mission

A Ship from the Middle Ages Might Have Been Discovered in NorwayThe FFI is believed to have been asked to map the lake. So, working in liaison with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, they did, and they used an autonomous submarine to execute the project.

The vessel worked with sonar technology as part of the Mission Mjøsa project. Before that, researchers had only scanned depths of up to 75 feet. Given that the lake’s more than 1470 feet deep, there’s probably much more to discover lying undisturbed for centuries.

Researchers who participated in the project were out to find devices that may have been dumped there, as there was a working factory at the location between the 1940s and 1970s. But they discovered something different…

How Scientists Discovered the Ship

Øyvind Ødegård, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s senior researcher in marine archaeology, revealed he hoped to find possible shipwrecks as well. And they did so. The 33-foot-long wooden ship was discovered at depths of 1,312 feet. Scientists haven’t dated it yet, but they believe it might date back to the Middle Ages.

What’s mesmerizing about the finding is its near-perfect condition. Researchers believe that the freshwater environment and the lack of waves helped to preserve the vessel in such shape. “There were just a few iron nails at both ends of the ship,” comments Ødegård.

Mission Mjøsa aims to scan all 140 square feet of the lake bed. Up until now, researchers have mapped just 15 miles of the whole lake bottom. Ødegård and other members of the team hold high hopes. Ultimately, their goal is to find sunken vessels from the beginning of human activity in the nearby area.