16th century wrecks found in Norway - could be victims of piracy

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16th century wrecks found in Norway - could be victims of piracy

October 12, 2010 - 22:43
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Norwegian scuba divers found 3 wrecks off southern Norway. Marine archeologists say that the ships could have been sunk by pirates. According to Jørgen Johannessen at the Norwegian Maritime Museum the German pirate Martin Pechlins was ravaging around these parts of Norway at the time, and that there is an possibility that the three ships found could have been sunk by him.

The ships were found with cargo, and one of the ships obviously was burned. This is mysterious as it is unusual to burn a ship with its cargo on board.
On the burned wreck they found amongst other things a piece of a bronze kettle and a piece of a wheel, which seems to belong to a gun carriage.

The wrecks are now under protection and the museum will conduct further dives to try to establish the age of the wrecks. This could maybe shed some more light on how the ships were sunk. The maritime archeologists are going to remove some wooden planks for documentation and a dendrochronological test.

Martin Pechlin was killed in Norway in 1526. He had earlier that year left his home in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany with his ship and a crew of 80, to assault ships in the waters of Sweden and Norway. In Norway he attacked two ships outside Mandal, not far from where the wrecks were found. He ended his days near the town Tvedestrand, where he was hunted down by three ships from Bergen.

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