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Sculpture from the warship Riksäpplet which sank in 1676. By Niklas Eriksson.

The History of Swedish Naval Architecture

The Swedish standing navy relied to a high degree on foreign knowledge and competence. The well-preserved shipwrecks thus represent technical and architectonical influences from various corners of Europe. This makes the archaeology of Swedish warships – such as in this subproject – unique.

Early modern naval architecture developed fast, and different navies established their own technologies, methods of construction and architectural style. By looking at a ship, a trained eye could detect if its naval architect worked in a Dutch, English or French manner.

This subproject studies material remains as well as historical sources, ship images and models. Styles and techniques of shipbuilding are used as a starting point to examine the circulation of practical and theoretical knowledge of shipbuilding.

This subproject is a part of the research programmes historical and archaeological module.

The subproject will result in a major monograph: The History of Swedish Naval Architecture 1450–1850, along with several more in-depth case studies.

Name of the Subproject

The History of Swedish Naval Architecture 1450-1850 and Circulation of Knowledge.


Project leader

Niklas Eriksson, archaeologist, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University


Page last updated: 2021-05-21