Archeologists have raised a medieval ship from a riverbed in the Netherlands after more than half a century of resting there.
Construction workers stumbled upon the find as they were preparing to excavate the port in the city of Kampen. The ship’s skeleton was sitting beneath sand and silt underwater.
Experts have confirmed that the discovery – named “Ijsselkogge” after the river delta it was retrieved from – is a “cog” from the 15th century, a trading vessel used for sailing the North and Baltic Seas.
The delicate structure was raised out of the water in a special metal frame structure, with computer-operated straps around it.
It will be restored at the Nieuw Land Heritage Center in Lelystaf, where the ship will be constantly bathed with water to preserve it and keep it intact.
Ijsselkogge, measuring 20 by 8 meters (65 by 26 feet) and weighing 40 tonnes (88,185 pounds), is deemed well-preserved and sturdier than other vessels of its time because of its metal joints, which prevented it from disintegration during the retrieval.
The medieval sea vessel features glazed tiles on its rear deck, as well as a brick-arched oven.
Cogs are typically made of oak and fitted with a sole mast and a square-rigged sail. They were first used in the 10th century and became a common sight around the 1100s in medieval Europe. These vessels were of particular service to the Hanseatic League, a commercial network of ties between the North and Baltic Seas’ guilds of merchants.
Last year, 500-year-old remains – this time of a human being – were unearthed under a school playground in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. The remains were previously thought to belong to a Bronze Age human.
In January, however, it appeared from radiocarbon dating that it was a 16th-century skeleton, possibly of a pirate executed in a nearby area, according to the City of Edinburgh Council.
Just like in the surprising discovery of the medieval trading ship, the skeleton was found by workers during their survey work, which was intended for extending the city’s oldest working primary school.
“Workers expected to find remains of the original harbor and shipbuilding but instead uncovered human bones,” said the city council in a statement.
In 2014, a 2,700-year-old shipwreck, believed to be a Phoenician ship, was discovered in the Mediterranean. The latest discovery adds to the growing body of knowledge about seafaring in history.