Research / Projects

The Sunken Ships of the Baltic Sea. Interpretation and historical significance

Drawing of Baltic Shipwreck by Jon AdamsThe Baltic Sea is one of the best locations in the world for ship archaeology. One reason for this is because the majority of organisms that normally consume wood in the oceans are absent from this cold and brackish sea, including the infamous shipworm, Terredo navalis. The hulls of wooden wrecks therefore can stay in one piece, with the masts standing for hundreds of years on the dark bed of the Baltic Sea.

Another important factor in successful naval archaeology is that this northerly inland sea has been a busy sea route and the site of many shipwrecks for a long period of time. Active communication and more or less peaceful maritime contacts can be traced to prehistoric times. Seafaring and its practical, material prerequisites in the form of boats and ships, are central to the history of the region and all the countries around the Baltic Sea.

Shipwrecks have long been the most important source material for Nordic maritime archaeologists. There are several reasons for the interest in sunken ships, one of which is a special interest in maritime conditions and seafaring among maritime experts. However, interest in shipwrecks has also often been connected to diving and adventures, or to ideology and nationalism.

From a more general archaeological theoretical standpoint, however, there are obvious reasons for examining shipwrecks. They are often complex constructions that hold cargo and personal belongings, which bring opportunities to discuss a wide range of aspects of human behaviour, actions and social interactions. Ships have also played an important part in historical trading systems, in warfare and symbolic manifestations.

Using examples, this project aims to demonstrate how shipwreck archaeology can contribute to our understanding of Baltic history and also to a humanist discussion of mankind and society.

Logo University of South HamptonThe research was conducted in partnership with the University of Southampton.

 

Publications

In: Interpreting Shipwrecks. Southampton : Highfield Press, 2013. 9-24.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Johan Rönnby

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2013

School/Centre

MARISSchool of Historical and Contemporary Studies
Archaeology

Research area for doctoral studies

Historical Studies

In: Interpreting Shipwrecks. Southampton : Highfield Press, 2013. 140-150.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject

Mirja Arnshav


Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2013

School/Centre

MARISSchool of Historical and Contemporary Studies

-


Research area for doctoral studies

Historical Studies

In: Interpreting Shipwrecks. Southampton : Highfield Press, 2013. 127-139.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject

Minna Leino


Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2013

School/Centre

MARISSchool of Historical and Contemporary Studies

-


Research area for doctoral studies

Historical Studies

In: Interpreting Shipwrecks. Southampton : Highfield Press, 2013. 72-84.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject

Fred Hocker


Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2013

School/Centre

MARISSchool of Historical and Contemporary Studies

-


Research area for doctoral studies

Historical Studies

In: Interpreting Shipwrecks. Southampton : Highfield Press, 2013. 36-45.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject

Yvonne Fors


Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2013

School/Centre

-

-


Research area for doctoral studies

Historical Studies

In: Interpreting Shipwrecks. Southampton : Highfield Press, 2013. 1-8.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject

Jonathan Adams

Johan Rönnby

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2013

School/Centre

MARISSchool of Historical and Contemporary Studies
Archaeology

Research area for doctoral studies

Historical Studies

In: Interpreting Shipwrecks. Southampton : Highfield Press, 2013. 25-35.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Oscar Törnqvist

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2013

School/Centre

MARISSchool of Historical and Contemporary Studies
Archaeology

Research area for doctoral studies

Historical Studies

In: En maritim värld. Lindome : Bricoleur Press, 2013. 59-67.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Johan Rönnby

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2013

School/Centre

MARISSchool of Historical and Contemporary Studies
Archaeology

Research area for doctoral studies

Historical Studies

Status

Finished

Project Manager

Johan Rönnby
Professor, Professor
School of Historical and Contemporary Studies

People linked to the project

Professor Jon Adams, University of Southampton

More information

Project start: 2008
Project end: 2011

Financier: KK-stiftelsen

Research linked to the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe: Yes

Information på svenska

Subjects to which the project is linked

School/centre to which the project is linked

Research area for doctoral studies to which the project is linked