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Tero Tankka (left) and Maija Huttunen (right) pick up samples. Photo: Minna Koivikko.

The Lost Navy – Diving Deep into an Unwritten Maritime History

The research program "The Lost Navy. Sweden’s “Blue” Heritage circa 1450–1850" maps, documents and researches the Swedish navy. 

In the depths of the Baltic lies a large number of unique wrecks of early modern naval ships. Some have been sunk in battle or by accident, but many have been deliberately scuttled around ports or used as filling material in quays.

The research program The Lost Navy maps, documents and researches the Swedish navy of circa 1450–1850. During this period, the Swedish navy consisted of sailing ships. There is information on around 785 ships, but only a few of these have been archaeologically examined and documented. For centuries, these naval vessels were a central part of the Swedish maritime history – a part which is largely still unwritten.

The vessels are identified and researched with maritime archaeological and other methods using both written sources and archaeological finds.

More about the research programme. 

Collaboration between CEMAS and SMTM

The program will run 2021–2026 and is a collaboration between the Centre for Maritime Studies at Stockholm University, the Swedish National Maritime and Transport Museums and the Finnish Heritage Agency.

The programme is funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. 

Centre for Maritime Studies, Stockholm University

Swedish National Maritime and Transport Museums

Finnish Heritage Agency.

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond 

Eleven subprojects

The research programme consists of eleven subprojects, one has not yet begun. Find more information about each subproject through the links below.


For information or questions regarding the research programme, please contact:

Leos Müller, research leader, CEMAS, Stockholm University
About Leos Müller

Anna Arnberg, coordinator, The Swedish National Maritime and Transport Museums

Elin Heppling, assistent

Regarding the subprojects

Please contact the project leader. Their contact information can be found on each subproject's webpage. 

Other participating researchers

Jim Hansson, Patrik Höglund, Mikael Fredholm and Håkan Altrock, maritime archaeologists, The National Maritime and Transport Museums

Anna Maria Forssberg, Fredrik Kämpe and Andreas Linderoth, historians, The National Maritime and Transport Museums

Mirja Arnshav, archaeologist, The National Maritime and Transport Museums

Ingvar Sjöblom, historian, Department of History, Stockholm University

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

Simon Ekström, ethnologist, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, Stockholm University

Minna Koivikko, maritime archaeologist, Finnish Heritage Agency


Page last updated: 2021-10-12