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Medieval Shipwreck Discovered in Russia

Monday, November 11, 2019

Russia Medieval ShipwreckKAZAN, RUSSIA—Samara Polytech announced the discovery of a boat dated to the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century in the Volga River in southwestern Russia. A survey conducted with underwater ultrasound scanners revealed the wreckage measures more than 160 feet long and 65 feet wide. Under 30 feet of water, much of the ship is covered in silt, but the ultrasound images revealed its timbers, a large chain, and ropes. Team leader Ekaterina Semenova said such a large ship may have been built in Asia, Scandinavia, or Western Europe, although there were also Slavic settlements along the Volga at the time. It is not clear if the vessel was used for trade or military purposes. In addition, a corroded metal nail recovered from the shipwreck was examined using X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy at Samara Polytech and atomic emission spectroscopy at Samara University, and found to consist of nearly pure iron, which is consistent with a medieval date for the vessel. To read about the naturally mummified remains of a woman discovered in the Russian High Arctic, go to "Arctic Ice Maiden."

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