Et middelalderligt skibsfund
A Medieval Ship from Eltang Vig
In 1943 the remains of a wooden construction which could be identified as belonging to a ship was discovered in Eltang Vig, a reclaimed portion of Kolding Fjord. In 1947 the vessel was excavated and was found to lie mainly immediately under the turf. It would appear that the ship sank and was allowed to lie undisturbed. It contained no extraneous finds of significance. A considerable portion of the strakes, ribs and thwarts has been washed away. All the pieces found are of oak. The keel is 13.6 meters long. The stern and stem-posts are identical and possess grooves which allow the vessel to be ascribed to the Viking Period or to the Early Medieval Period. There was a distance of 90 cms. between the ribs, which consist of keel-piece, main-rib and knee-piece, all formed of naturally curved-grain wood. Neither the keel-pieces nor the mainribs were attached to the keel. There were 14 strakes a side, 2 cms. in thickness and up to 40 cms. in breadth. They were attached to the ribs with wooden pegs and fastened to each other with iron clinker rivets. Three crossthwarts, or "catwalks" (nos. 14, 16 and 20), to which the ribs have been attached show rounded excisions which reveal that the ship has possessed a keelson for stepping a mast. The shape of the stem and stemposts make it impossible for the ship to have had a stern-rudder. It must have been steered with a rudder on the starboard thwart and can therefore scarcely be later in date than the 12th Century. The remains discovered show that the ship must have been 17.5-18 meters long with a beam which can be estimated with less certainty to not less than 4 meters. It was thus a medium-sized ship of its period, which is shown by the ship's structure to be about 1200-1250 AD. The type of vessel to which it belongs cannot be precisely determined; it was perhaps a "knorr", a deepsea merchantman.
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