Shipwrecked: Archaeologists explore graveyard of sunken ships in Baltic Sea





The fire began in the galley, where the crew had kept a stove burning while they visited a tavern ashore. As the flames devoured her stern, the Anna Maria sank through the ice in the Stockholm archipelago.

The Anna Maria is part of a vast graveyard of ill-fated ships hidden in the murky waters of the Baltic Sea, protected from the shipworm that destroys wooden wrecks in saltier oceans. Some 20,000 shipwrecks have been found — half of them in Swedish waters — dating back to as far as the Viking age. Researchers believe as many as 80,000 more could still be waiting to be discovered.

Eriksson and his colleagues plan to offer boat tours where visitors can see some of the most spectacular wrecks through a camera attached to a remotely operated vehicle. The idea is modeled on a shipwreck tour in Lake Champlain, in Vermont, that uses the same technology. The boats would have flat-screen TVs installed, and the story of each shipwreck site would be told through 3D animations and old sea charts.


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