A month ago news of a wreck found in Sweden’s largest lake, Vänern, made the rounds of international media. The story gained traction by an early mention of Viking ships and weapons found alongside the wreck.
Finder Roland Peterson from the Väner Museum now explains that though the ship-building technique used in the wreck was available already in the Viking Period, it then survived for centuries even into the 19th century. He thus deems it possible but not certain that the vessel is very old.
I’ve taken some small part in the discussion. Though I know little of ship types, I have some knowledge of smaller Viking Period objects. My buddies Martin Skoglund and Niklas Ytterberg sent me pictures and x-rays of the purported weapons. I am quite sure that they are a) not weapons, and b) not from the Viking Period. In fact, they appear to be two parts of the same iron object: long, rod-shaped, pointy, with a spiral groove around the point and a handle at the base. My guess is that it is a ship’s aft flagpole from the past 400 years.
Hear Roland and myself being interviewed on Swedish national radio about the find.