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Sunken Glory – A Ship Underwater Ultimately Identified

Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2022
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by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
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Photo Credits: Wikipedia

When time and effort are dedicated to projects related to the past, folks sometimes assume it’s a waste of time. However, that notion is incorrect as there is much to learn from events in history. A few years ago, maritime archeologists in Sweden discovered a shipwreck. However, they only recently confirmed its identity. The object in question that lies beneath the sea is a 17th-century warship called the Ӓpplet.  The discovery and identification of the ship is being hailed as a significant find and “another key piece of the puzzle in the development of Swedish shipbuilding,” per a maritime archaeologist at Vrak, the country’s Museum of Wrecks.  

Ӓpplet was one of four warships created by order of King Gustavus Adolphus in 1625. It is the sister ship of Vasa, which notoriously capsized on its maiden voyage off Stockholm in 1628. Both ships were built by shipbuilder Hein Jacobsson; however, Ӓpplet featured improved designs over the Vasa. Ӓpplet was launched in 1629 and was eventually intentionally sunk in 1659 in the Stockholm archipelago after service in Europe’s 30 Years’ War (1618-1648). The ship was of no use as it was no longer seaworthy. Experts from Vrak originally suspected that other shipwrecks were the Ӓpplet, but those were disproven. However, in 2021, marine archeologists discovered the ship. It wasn’t until spring of 2022 that it was identified after careful analysis, including a study of archives, construction details, the ship’s dimensions, wood samples, and more.

The Ӓpplet discovery came as quite a surprise as the seabed in the area had been covered with stones in the 1800s and dredged in the early 1900s, per CNN. Thus, maritime explorers believed there was nothing else to find. However, the desire to find Ӓpplet remained strong. Now that it is properly identified, the find will help archeologists understand how large warships evolved from the failed Vasa into “seaworthy behemoths” that could control the Baltic Sea and give rise to Sweden’s power in the 1600s. Since the wreck is in protected military seas, there’s a strong possibility it may never be resurfaced. Despite this, much can be learned in the world of shipbuilding history.

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