Tallinn, Estonia – A group of construction workers working on foundations for a new apartment complex came across an extraordinary discovery. It seems the crew accidentally dug up the remains of two medieval ships.
The seaside town of Tallinn, which is the capital of Estonia, is noted for its medieval history with still-standing structures from centuries before. It may not have come as a huge shock when the workers noticed something odd in the ground.
“We were digging the ground, when we found some massive wooden pieces, and we decided this might be something interesting,” said Ain Kivisaar, spokesman for property developer Metro Capital.
After informing the National Heritage Board, it was determined that two or even three ships likely lie in the ground and are thought to be between 400 and 700 years old. Construction has since been suspended. After the wreckage of the first ship was unearthed, geo-radar was used and found that there were several ships at the bottom of the sea. The heritage protection authorities now have the tedious task of unearthing the ships to find out their provenance.
“Today we know there are two wrecks, and there may be another, but we don’t know, we need to continue digging,” said Maili Roio of the National Heritage Board.
Archaeologist Priit Lahi admits the find was an important discovery to shed light on possible shipbuilding methods from centuries before.
“At the time, shipbuilders used their own methods — it wasn’t very scientific. There weren’t project drawings like we have today,” he told the Associated Press.
At the moment, only one ship is visible with the upper portion exposed. It will take several weeks to completely excavate the first ship. According to preliminary data, the ships are approximately 15 meters in length and four meters wide.