An afternoon in the name of maritime archaeology…

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HUMA Maritime archaeology Gotland

An afternoon in the name of maritime archaeology…

A loud BOOOM was heard at Krusmyntagården (north of Visby) on June 12th 2008. The reason for this commotion was a 4,3 m long cannon being test fired. Three salutes were fired to welcome the cannon to Gotland. The test firing was part of an event that the HUMA project had arranged for the public and press to come see what the project is all about. More than 75 participants from many different countries showed up for an afternoon in the name of maritime archaeology.

The event started at Kopparsvik, where underwater excavations had been ongoing for more than 3 weeks. After a short introduction to the historical background and the previous investigations, the project divers entered the water and continued the excavation work. By watching a TV screen on land the spectators could follow the work as the divers removed sand with the suction dredger, measured position of artefacts within the excavation square and finally recovered a copper coin. On land some of the many finds from the excavation were showed to the curious spectators. Also the tools used in an underwater archaeological investigation (metal detector, search lines and ejector suction dredge) were demonstrated.


The second part of the event took place at Krusmyntagården (north of Visby). First a number of speakers spoke on different subject regarding maritime archaeology, the recovered cannon and the cultural heritage of Gotland.

Hereafter the spectators were faced with the before mentioned cannon. The cannon is an exact replica of the wrought iron cannon that was recovered from the waters outside Krusmyntagården in September 2007. The cannon is believed to have been on board one of the ships from the Danish-Lübeck fleet that wrecked outside Visby in July 1566. The original cannon is now being conserved in Gothenburg and will be returned to Gotland in 3-5 years.

The replica cannon has been constructed by Berth Johansson and Björn Lystrand to demonstrate the old techniques and the quick firing abilities of wrought iron cannons. The ability of the cannon was clearly demonstrated, when Albert Collins and Martin Skoog fired the cannon. The loud ‘booms’ and large clouds of smoke only separated by short breaks to clean and reload the cannon were an impressive experience.


A meal of roast lamb accompagnied by late medieval music beautifully ended the event.

Also smaller replica cannons could be found at Krusmyntagården. A member of Gotlands Havsgille (Lennart Olsson) had taken the time to construct some small cannons, which could be bought. Interested buyers are welcome to contact Göran Ankarlilja; +46 708205775. The price of the cannons is 700 SEK (excl. shipping).




First news from the excavations

Time to start this year’s investigations of the Danish-Lübeck fleet

DVD - Construction of a cannon replica

An afternoon in the name of maritime archaeology…

Heritage underwater maritime archaeology Gotland