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The wreck site at Gråharun

The wreck near the island of Gråharun was found by accident when the Finnish Navy was diving near the island in 1998. The wreck is of an unknown ship. The National Board of Antiquities supervised non-destructive documentation of the wreck in 2001-2003. The wreck is approximately 16 meters long and clinker-built (overlapping hull planks) and it has two masts. The structures of the wreck are worn-out and fragile. There are a lot of ceramics bowls and pots in the wreck. In addition, there are crucibles that were used in melting different elements.

By the help of the artefacts, the wreck is dated to the turn of the 16th and 17th century. Only a few wrecks from this era are known in Finland and the wreck of Gråharun is the only one of them that that is almost in its original state. Sports divers and earlier investigations damaged and changed the other wrecks from this era.

The National Board of Antiquities asked for a protected area around the wreck of Gråharun and in the spring of 2004 the Southwest Finland Regional Environment Centre confirmed the area. The aim is to safeguard the wreck as untouched as possible for forthcoming investigations, that is, to make sure the structures of the wreck or the artefacts do not disappear or get damaged undocumented. Archaeologists are thus able to investigate the wreck site as an intact entity in the future. All information can be collected and exploited e.g. in publications.

Inside the protected area anchorage and diving are strictly prohibited unless they are involved in rescuing a ship in distress, maritime safety measures conducted by the Finnish Maritime Administration, or diving or research work guided by the National Board of Antiquities. In addition, it is prohibited to use the island of Gråharun as a diving base. The protected area can be crossed by a boat and the island of Gråharun can be used for camping, for example.

A map of the protected area around the Gråharun wreck site Map: Finnish Maritime Administration (2005)


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Last updated 29.10.2015
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