People believed it could ward off evil spirits.
In August 2015, a team of experts from Södertörn University and Blekinge Museum in Karlskona, Sweden raised a unique figurehead from the depths of the Baltic Sea. It was from the best-preserved vessel from the 15th century, the Gribshunden.
The carved ferocious – looking artifact measures 3.5 meters long and weighs approximately 300 kilograms. Johan Rönnby, professor of marine archaeology from the aforementioned university, thought of it as some kind of a ‘fantasy animal.’
The fleet, which measured 35 meters long and 12 meters wide, was supposedly on its way from Copenhagen to Kalmar in the summer of 1495. Unfortunately, it caught fire and sank. The King was not on board, but many of its 150 crew died.
According to an article published by Södertörn University, recreational divers found the shipwreck in the 70’s. However, it took 20 more years before it was properly identified. Moreover, it was only in 2013 when Dr. Rönnby and his colleagues first dove into the wreck.
“Gribshunden is a piece of global history, as it was this kind of ship that explored the world but has not been preserved anywhere other than the Baltic. Even in her time, she was one of a kind, the first generation of the ships that came to dominate that era’s European travel and warfare, ” Dr. Rönnby stated.
They found chain mails, barrels, coins, bones, logs, iron cannons and more from the shipwreck. But it was the discovery of this ‘mythical’ figurehead that caught the attention of international media a few years back.
During the 15th century, figureheads commonly look sinister as people believed they ward off evil spirits.
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