All that remains of the ship is a few wooden beams covered with mussels and a load of lime.
During their recent research in the Trave River (northern Germany), scientists discovered a 375-year-old shipwreck, almost at a depth of 10 m, writes Gizmodo.
A team of researchers spent 8 months studying the wreck and determined that 150 barrels of cargo sank along with the Hanseatic ship. Independent dating of the logs of the ship in three different laboratories showed that the ship was built in the middle of the 17th century.
As archaeologist Fritz Jürgens from the University of Kiel added, the ship's cargo was quicklime, which was used to prepare mortar and plaster. Initial analysis of the wreckage showed that the ship had run aground on one of the bends in the river, and damage from the accident caused the ship to sink.
All that remains of the ship are a few wooden beams covered with mussels , and a load of lime. Archaeologists have calculated that the length of the ship ranged from 19 m to 24 feet.
While the wreck is made up mostly of wood and therefore of little interest to people looting the wreck for scrap, it faces other threats – logs and open cargo are at risk of erosion. In addition, some areas of the wreck were infested with the shipworm, a group of mollusks known to eat wooden ships and docks.
This is not surprising, since the wreck lies at the bottom of a busy shipping channel. Erosion and rampant shipworm infestation may explain why all that remains of a German cargo ship is a few logs and a load of lime.
As a general rule, the less oxygen in the water, the better the wrecks are preserved, as organic material does not decompose as quickly. That's why the world's oldest known intact shipwreck, a 2400-year-old 22m long Greek merchant ship, lies virtually untouched at the bottom of the Black Sea.