New finds revealed from Swedish warship
ASwedish warship which exploded 454 years ago had been carrying hundreds of soldiers when it was destroyed in the Baltic Sea in 1564, during the Northern Seven Years’ War. At the time it was filled to the brim with cannons, hand grenades, and up to a thousand soldiers.
The ship, known as Mars, belonged to the Swedish navy and was one of Northern Europe’s largest and most feared naval vessels to be used in the Northern Seven Years’ War.
The remains of the ship had been discovered in 2011 at the bottom of the Baltic Sea, near to the Swedish island of Öland but the latest discoveries from the wreckage have been revealed recently in Öland. “This year, we have come closer to the people aboard. We found more skeletal parts, including a femur with trauma around the knee which we believe to stem from a sharp-edged weapon,” says maritime archaeologist Rolf Fabricius Warming, who is one of the researchers involved in the investigation.
“We also found large guns and a hand grenade. We can see from the wreckage that it was a very intense and tough battle. Between 800 and 1,000 men were on board. That is comparable to the population of an entire medium-sized town at the time. Most of them died in the explosion or when the ship sank into the watery depths,” he says.
Mars sunk due to a gunpowder explosion at the front of the ship. But shortly before, it had been under attack by Danish and Lübeckian warships, according to written sources.
Cannons on the ship are up to 4.8 metres long