Huge ship graveyard with dozens of wrecks discovered

TEHRAN, Jan. 13 (MNA) – Dozens of historic shipwrecks have been located in the lakes Heddalsvattnet and Norsjo in the Telemark region in southern Norway over the course of several weeks.

"We have located more than 75 wrecks in Heddalsvatnet and five in Norsjo. This is the largest ship cemetery ever found in Norway," project manager Thor Olav Sperre told local media.

His colleague Pal Nymoen of the Norwegian Maritime Museum called it very important for the nation’s history, describing it as an "archaeological treasure trove."

This is part of the ongoing project, which scans the entire seabed of the Norsjo water system, a once busy waterway in one of Norway’s historic areas. According to Nymoen, both Lakes Heddalsvatnet and Norsjo were once part of the sea, Sputnik reported.

"The water gradually became fresh water around the Bronze Age. In recent times, it has been one of the largest inland ports in Norway, which explains the large boat traffic," he said.

According to the researchers, transport in Heddalsvatnet has existed for many thousands of years, which is supported by numerous rock carvings. The lake also harbors Viking relics.

About 50 of the wrecks are barges used in connection with the industrial development at Notodden, which is part of UNESCO World Heritage. Located in a dramatic landscape of mountains, waterfalls, and river valleys, the site comprises hydroelectric power plants, transmission lines, factories, transport systems, and towns.

Among the rest, two large sailing ships each more that 30 meters long were found.

The findings will subsequently be investigated with a remote-controlled underwater vehicle. The wrecks found in freshwater are said to be very well preserved and will hopefully shed new light on Norway's maritime history.

Telemark, named after the Thelir, an ancient North Germanic tribe that inhabited the area during the Migration Period and the Viking Age, ranks high among Norway's historic landscapes. Today, half of the nation's medieval buildings are located here. The dialects spoken in the area retain more elements of Old Norse than elsewhere in the country. Worldwide, Telemark is also known as the birthplace of skiing, having lent its name to an Alpine turning technique called telemarking.

MNA/PR

News Code 196075

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