World's oldest shipwreck found in England


    The oldest sunken ship in the world was found in England (photo)

    A cooking cauldron and two tombstones made of Purbeck marble were found in the ship's hull.

    During the In a recent study in the south of England, scientists discovered the oldest shipwreck of the 13th century, the Mortar Wreck, in Dorset, writes Ancient Origins.

    On its well-preserved body, buried among a collection of valuable marble stones, divers found two carved crosses. Archaeologists from Bournemouth University note that this is the earliest shipwreck ever found where a ship has an intact hull. Moreover, among the cargo, two decorated tombstones have changed the view of medieval crosses by historians.

    The oldest sunken ship in the world found in England (photo)

    “We were really extremely lucky with a ship built during the reign of King Henry III of England. It's rare for scientists to find a ship that's 750 years old,” said Bournemouth University marine archaeologist Tom Cousins.

    Analysis of tree rings in ship logs showed that they were Irish oaks, felled between 1242-1265. The ship itself was built using clinker technology, from overlapping wooden planks.

    In England found the oldest sunken ship in the world (photo)

    Remarkably, this ship is so well preserved that its cargo of Purbeck stone remained completely intact. A particular type of stone found aboard the ship was Purbeck marble. They have been quarried since Roman times and prized by builders throughout Europe, but Purbeck marble has now ceased to be mined as a decorative building material.

    The oldest sunken ship in the world found in England (photo)

    One of the tombstones depicts a 13th-century wheel-shaped cross, while the second Templar cross depicts a straight, equilateral cross with flared ends.

    “It is important to note that until a pair of tombstones were discovered, it was believed that these two crosses were not used in the same period of time,” the scientists added.


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