Weapon Chest With Tools To Make Ammunition Found In 500-Year-Old Griffin Shipwreck

Maritime researchers have discovered weapons chest, and pieces of armour from a 500-year-old shipwreck off the coast of Sweden.

According to a news release from Stockholm University, a fire on Griffin (also popularly known as the Gribshunden or Griffin-Hound) while sailing to Kalmar in 1495 caused it to sink.

The ship served as the flagship for John, also famous as Hans, the Danish-Norwegian king who was in power from 1481 until 1513.

The research findings are laid out in the report released this month. While the wreck looks to have disintegrated partly, some of the components on the seabed appear to be well-preserved.

Along with the parts from the elevated fighting platforms, the researchers came across floor timbers—although scattered and disarticulated on the seabed—that offered much-needed insights into Griffin’s structure and military potential.

As stated in the news release, the finds have yielded new and additional data for the ongoing reconstruction and study of the vessel’s superstructure, permitting the researchers to reconstruct it in the future.

Amid the shipwreck, the researchers came across a splendid ammunition-making tool chest comprising lead plates and cans, which may have held powder.

Researchers were aware of the chest in 2019 but couldn’t study it closely until last year when they used 3-D imaging to view its contents.

According to the news release, the contents of the weapon chest are unarguably one of the most important discoveries, per Rolf Warming, a well-known maritime archaeologist.

It includes, among other things, different lead plates and moulds used for lead bullets for early handguns.

The chest may have come from German mercenaries on the ship when it sank.

Researchers were also able to recover two cannon carriages in the wreckage.

The news release mentioned that the armour fragments the archaeologists found may be from a mail shirt that could have had up to 150,000 rings.

The armour and weapons found have given the researchers a glimpse into what combat at sea was like during this period.

Rolf Warming described the vessel as a crucial puzzle in the military revolution at sea during the Early Modern Period when the tactics evolved from hand-to-hand combat to heavy and advanced naval artillery fire.

He added that the vessel is comparable to the other preserved wrecks, such as the Vasa and Mars, which have been displayed in Stockholm since the 1960s after being retrieved from the ocean floor.

Reference: CBS News

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