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Engineers and archaeologists have successfully raised a 600 year old sailing cog from the depths of the Ijssel River in the Netherlands.
The 55 ton vessel, along with a barge and punt, had been deliberately sunk to alter the flow of the river to make it more navigable and easier for ships to dock on the Ijssel’s banks.
Then, as now, maritime trade was essential to the Dutch economy and any impediments to riverine traffic directly affected the economic well-being of the area’s inhabitants.
As such, medieval maritime engineers devised a plan to divert the flow of silt from the river’s banks making docking along the bank easier.
The engineers strategically sank the cog, barge and punt to achieve their goal.
The river quickly silted up over the vessels which created the anaerobic environment essential to the state of preservation they are currently in.
If successful, then the vessel would be a smaller version of England’s Mary Rose or Sweden’s Vasa.
For nearly a century and a half, an Egyptian obelisk has graced the Victoria Embankment along the Thames River in London.
Flanked by a pair of sphinxes, the obelisk was gifted to the United Kingdom by Muhammad Ali, the ruler of Egypt and Sudan, in 1819 in honor of two British victories in Egypt including Admiral Nelson’s victory at the Battle of the Nile.
While the gift was a magnanimous one, the cost of transporting it to the UK proved prohibitive and the obelisk lingered in Egypt until 1877 when £10,000 was donated by a philanthropist to ship the monument to London.
Carefully ensconced in an enormous iron cylinder outfitted with a rudder, deckhouse and dubbed Several months ago, marine archaeologists located the wreck of an ancient sailing ship off the Maltese island of Gozo.
Further work on the site revealed 20 grinding stone along with 50 amphorae, an ancient piece of stoneware used to transport liquids and semi-solids.