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Narodowe Muzeum Morskie w Gdańsku

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60 lat Narodowego Muzeum Morskiego w Gdańsku

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Historic Shipwreck

02.07.2012 |

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A pontoon with a part of an 18th century Vistula ship bow excavated from the bottom of Martwa Wisła (Dead Vistula) in the area of Gdańsk–Stogi has moored for a few days at the CMM wharf. It is the first of the two shipwrecks planned for excavation as a part of the archaeological research conducted by the Society of Friends of the Polish Maritime Museum in cooperation with CMM.

The excavation activities are of rescue character and are conducted under the project of Martwa Wisła waterway modernisation carried out by the Maritime Office in Gdynia. Two 18th century shipwrecks have been discovered on the route of the water pass which is planned to be deepened. The excavation works are carried out by the PRPiH Marinex company.

The first shipwreck is a wooden ship hull, 23 metres long and 7 metres wide, which is a remnant of a bordyna-type sailing ship built around 1730. This type of vessels was mentioned in medieval sources and was used for loading and unloading of large vessels which could not sail to the Motława port because of their deep draught and thus anchored in the roadstead. They were also used for local sailing to Elbląg and Kaliningrad.

The excavated part of the punt was located just two metres from bordyna. Due to its big size (the whole hull could be as long as 40 metres), it was decided to cut off the bow part in order to have access to bordyna and enable its future excavation.

The excavated historic wreck is the first discovery of an 18th century vessel of this type in Poland. The punt's bow decorated with a motif of a rosette, which according to people's beliefs had magic qualities and protected against evil spirits, disasters, illnesses and scared away the evil, is worth special attention.

The excavation of a part of the punt's wreck will enable scientists to compare the material remnants of the hull with the iconographic and historical sources. A number of drawings presenting this type of vessels carrying grain to the port of Gdańsk (made i.a. by Friderick A. Lohrmann) have been preserved.


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