Archaeologists in Norway May Have Found a 700-Year-Old Shipwreck

Norwegian Defence Research Establishment / Facebook (Fair Use)

Archaeologists surveying the bottom of Norway’s largest lake believe they’ve discovered the remains of a 700-year-old ship, the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment announced in a statement earlier this month.

Lake Mjøsa, which is situated about 60 miles north of Oslo, has been a busy trade route since at least the Viking Age; more recently, between the 1940s and 1970s, it was a dumping ground for surplus ammunition. Scientists were mapping the lake’s bottom in an attempt to locate the surplus weapons—but they expected to discover a few older artifacts, too.

“Finding the wreck was almost a byproduct of the original mission to map dumped munitions,” Øyvind Ødegård, a marine archaeologist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, tells Live Science’s Tom Metcalfe. “I expected to find some things—that’s why I was participating in the project.”