Divers have discovered what may be the oldest shipwreck, the remains of a vessel that sank in 1525, two years after a ceremony on its decks marked the creation of the Swedish nation.
Divers used sonar to locate the three-masted Lybske Swan, a man-of-war, in the Stockholm archipelago, under 150 feet of water.The 100-foot ship had broken apart but the wood was preserved in the brackish Baltic, where wood-eating worms do not thrive.
"It was as if time had stood still 465 years," said diver Adam Tolby, who first spotted the wreckage in November.
"I saw a skeleton trapped under the stern, with even part of the clothes still on it. I could have reached out and touched him."
Researchers said they found cannons, cannon balls and kitchen tools in the wreck. Marine archeologist Anders Franzen said it was the oldest sailing ship ever recovered.
Heavy with weapons and booty, the Lybske Swan ran aground and sank returning from a war expedition, he said.
The Lybske Swan was the flagship of King Gustav Vasa, who fought to break the domination of Danish kings over Sweden. The Danes surrendered aboard the ship.