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Viking Ship in Russian Waters July 29, 1997
by Giovanni Lattanzi

[image] Divers inspect the remains of a Viking ship found near Vyborg, Russia. (Giovanni Lattanzi) [LARGER IMAGE]

The wreck of a ninth- or tenth-century Viking ship belonging to the Varenghi, a Viking tribe, has been found in Dalnaja Bay near Vyborg, Russia. Sections of the lower part of the hull and a long piece of the keel are well preserved, revealing much about the ship's construction. The planks were fastened together with iron nails, wooden pegs, and tarred rope; the oak boards of the hull were dovetailed together about every four inches. The same methods were used about the same time by the Pomeranian tribes of the Baltic Sea. During the ship's lifetime, a breach in one of the hull boards was repaired with a small piece of cloth in a manner similar to a patch on another tenth-century Viking ship found in 1880 at Gokstad, Norway. The structure of the Dalnaja ship suggests that it is earlier than Gokstad, but radiocarbon dating will be needed to establish its age more firmly. The discovery was made by Baltika 96, a joint expedition of the Center for Russian Underwater Archaeology and and Archeoclub d'Italia, the Italian national amateur archaeology society, which was surveying the waters of Dalnaja Bay.

© 1997 by the Archaeological Institute of America