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Vrak investigates ships in Häringe’s waters

Landfjärden, in Häringe south of Stockholm, is home to intriguing remains of ships that have been mentioned in writings as early as the 1800s. Maritime archaeologists from the museum have now investigated the site.


Häringe boasts historical remains stretching far back in time, such as a runestone from the 1000s on the site. In folk tales, the ships in Landfjärden were associated with the Viking Age, though they are probably from a later date. When our maritime archaeologists examined the site, the ships could be dated.

Håkan Altrock oversees activities around the wrecks in Landfjärden. Here’s what he has to say about the dives.

“The first day’s dives took place on two different shipwrecks, both at the far end of Landfjärden. One is about 22 metres long, and the other is covered in so much sediment that we can only see a small section of the wreck. We’ve created a 3D model of one of them and have taken a lot of measurements and tree-ring samples. They will be analysed to get a dating of the ships. One of the wrecks contained a so-called hearth box, consisting of a wooden box with bricks in it. They used this box to make a fire for cooking on board. We also saw the remains of a copper pot.”

“On Tuesday, we continued diving on these wrecks. But we also dived on a huge wreck further out, near the ruins of the fortress Sotes Borg. Same procedure there, with 3D documentation, measurements and video documentation. In parallel, two of us were ashore investigating a shipwreck next to Häringe Castle’s sauna built on a pier. Most of it’s located under the seabed and the reeds, but might be old. We’re going to try to saw off some samples for dendrochronology dating for this ship, too.”

According to Altrock, a first estimate of the ships’ age would place them somewhere between the 1500s and 1700s. One of the shipwrecks could be slightly older.

The next step in the investigation is to take more tree-ring samples and make a 3D model of more of the larger wreck at the Sotes Borg ruins. In the future, it would be interesting to do more investigations at Häringe to study harbour remains at the site.

“I’d also like to excavate the wrecks to find out more information about them. If we can dig a trench across them and take 3D photos, we’ll get a clear picture of the shape of the hull underwater besides the finds it may unearth,” Altrock says.