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The only significant difference between the design of Vasa and her sister ship was an increase in width of about a metre 3.

When a new contract for operation of the navy yard was negotiated in the winter of —, Monier withdrew and Master Henrik took on a young merchant from Amsterdam, Arendt de Groote, as partner.

On 16 January , Henrik and Arendt signed a contract to build four ships, two larger with a keel length of feet 38 m and two smaller, with dimensions to match the earlier ship Gustavus.

As they prepared to begin the first of the new ships in the autumn of , Henrik corresponded with the king through the Vice Admiral Fleming about which ship to build first.

The loss of ten ships in the Bay of Riga led the king to propose building two ships of a new, medium size as a quick compromise, and he sent a specification for this, a ship which would be feet Henrik declined, since he had already cut the timber for a large and a small ship.

He laid the keel for a larger ship in late February or early March He died in the spring of , probably about the same time as the ship was launched.

After launching, work continued on finishing the upper deck, the sterncastle, the beakhead and the rigging.

Sweden had still not developed a sizeable sailcloth industry, and material had to be ordered from abroad. In the contract for the maintenance of rigging, French sailcloth was specified, but the cloth for the sails of Vasa most likely came from Holland.

The rigging was made entirely of hemp imported from Latvia through Riga. The king visited the shipyard in January and made what was probably his only visit aboard the ship.

Thirty men ran back and forth across the upper deck to start the ship rolling, but the admiral stopped the test after they had made only three trips, as he feared the ship would capsize.

Gustavus Adolphus had been sending a steady stream of letters insisting that the ship put to sea as soon as possible.

There has been much speculation about whether Vasa was lengthened during construction and whether an additional gun deck was added late during the build.

Little evidence suggests that Vasa was substantially modified after the keel was laid. Ships contemporary to Vasa that were elongated were cut in half and new timbers spliced between the existing sections, making the addition readily identifiable, but no such addition can be identified in the hull, nor is there any evidence for any late additions of a second gundeck.

The king ordered 72 pound cannons for the ship on 5 August , and this was too many to fit on a single gun deck. The French Galion du Guise , the ship used as a model for Vasa , according to Arendt de Groote, also had two gun decks.

Vasa was an early example of a warship with two full gun decks, and was built when the theoretical principles of shipbuilding were still poorly understood.

There is no evidence that Henrik Hybertsson had ever built a ship like it before, and two gundecks is a much more complicated compromise in seaworthiness and firepower than a single gundeck.

Safety margins at the time were also far below anything that would be acceptable today. Combined with the fact that 17th-century warships were built with intentionally high superstructures to be used as firing platforms , this made Vasa a risky undertaking.

Vasa was built during a time of transition in naval tactics, from an era when boarding was still one of the primary ways of fighting enemy ships to an era of the strictly organised ship-of-the-line and a focus on victory through superior gunnery.

Vasa was armed with powerful guns and built with a high stern, which would act as a firing platform in boarding actions for some of the soldiers she was supposed to carry, but the high-sided hull and narrow upper deck were not optimised for boarding.

She was neither the largest ship ever built, nor the one carrying the greatest number of guns. What made her arguably the most powerful warship of the time was the combined weight of shot that could be fired from the cannon of one side: This was the largest concentration of artillery in a single warship in the Baltic at the time, perhaps in all of northern Europe, and it was not until the s that a ship with more firepower was built.

This large amount of naval artillery was placed on a ship that was quite small relative to the armament carried.

The Constitution , however, belonged to a later era of naval warfare that employed the line of battle -tactic, where ships fought in single file or line ahead while the group as a whole attempted to present the batteries of one side toward the enemy.

The guns would be aimed in the same direction and fire could be concentrated on a single target. In the 17th century, tactics involving organised formations of large fleets had still not been developed.

Rather, ships would fight individually or in small improvised groups, and focused on boarding. Vasa , though possessing a formidable battery, was built with these tactics in mind, and therefore lacked a unified broadside with guns that were all aimed in roughly the same direction.

Rather, the guns were intended to be fired independently and were arranged according to the curvature of the hull, meaning that the ship would be bristled with artillery in all directions, covering virtually all angles.

Naval gunnery in the 17th century was still in its infancy. Guns were expensive and had a much longer lifespan than any warship.

Guns with a lifetime of over a century were not unheard of, while most warships would be used for only 15 to 20 years. Ships were therefore usually fitted with guns of very diverse age and size.

What allowed Vasa to carry so much firepower was not merely that an unusually large number of guns were crammed into a relatively small ship, but also that the 46 main pounder guns were of a new and standardised lightweight design, cast in a single series at the state gun foundry in Stockholm, under the direction of the Swiss-born founder Medardus Gessus.

Two additional pounders, of a heavier and older design, were mounted in the bows, the so-called bow chasers. Four more heavy guns were intended for the stern, but the cannon foundry could not cast guns as fast as the navy yard could build ships, and Vasa waited nearly a year after construction was finished for its armament.

When the ship sailed in August , eight of the planned armament of 72 guns had still not been delivered. The remaining armament of Vasa consisted of eight 3-pounders, six large caliber stormstycken similar to what the English called howitzers for use during boarding actions, and two 1-pound falconets.

As was the custom with warships at the time, Vasa was decorated with sculptures intended to glorify the authority, wisdom and martial prowess of the monarch and also to deride, taunt and intimidate the enemy.

The sculptures made up a considerable part of the effort and cost of building the ship. The symbolism used in decorating the ship was mostly based on the Renaissance idealization of Roman and Greek antiquity, which had been imported from Italy through German and Dutch artists.

Imagery borrowed from Mediterranean antiquity dominates the motifs, but also include figures from the Old Testament and even a few from ancient Egypt.

Many of the figures are in Dutch grotesque style, depicting fantastic and frightening creatures, including mermaids, wild men , sea monsters and tritons.

The decoration inside the ship is much sparser and is largely confined to the steerage and the great cabin, at the after end of the upper gundeck.

Residues of paint have been found on many sculptures and on other parts of the ship. The entire ornamentation was once painted in vivid colors.

The sides of the beakhead the protruding structure below the bowsprit , the bulwarks the protective railing around the weather deck , the roofs of the quarter galleries , and the background of the transom the flat surface at the stern of the ship were all painted red, while the sculptures were decorated in bright colors, and the dazzling effect of these was in some places emphasised with gold leaf.

Close to sculptures, most of which are concentrated on the high stern and its galleries and on the beakhead, are found on the ship.

On the transom are biblical and nationalistic symbols and images. A particularly popular motif is the lion, which can be found as the mascarons originally fitted on the insides of the gunport doors, grasping the royal coat of arms on either side, the figurehead, and even clinging to the top of the rudder.

Each side of the beakhead originally had 20 figures though only 19 have actually been found that depicted Roman emperors from Tiberius to Septimius Severus.

Overall, almost all heroic and positive imagery is directly or indirectly identified with the king and was originally intended to glorify him as a wise and powerful ruler.

The only actual portrait of the king, however, is located at the very top of the transom in the stern. A team of at least six expert sculptors worked for a minimum of two years on the sculptures, most likely with the assistance of an unknown number of apprentices and assistants.

Other accomplished artists, like Hans Clausink, Johan Didrichson Tijsen or Thessen in Swedish and possibly Marcus Ledens, are known to have been employed for extensive work at the naval yards at the time Vasa was built, but their respective styles are not distinct enough to associate them directly with any specific sculptures.

The artistic quality of the sculptures varies considerably, and about four distinct styles can be identified. These include some of the most important and prestigious pieces: The day was calm, and the only wind was a light breeze from the southwest.

The ship was warped hauled by anchor along the eastern waterfront of the city to the southern side of the harbor, where four sails were set, and the ship made way to the east.

The gun ports were open, and the guns were out to fire a salute as the ship left Stockholm. The sheets were cast off, and the ship slowly righted herself as the gust passed.

At Tegelviken, where there is a gap in the bluffs, an even stronger gust again forced the ship onto its port side, this time pushing the open lower gunports under the surface, allowing water to rush in onto the lower gundeck.

Survivors clung to debris or the upper masts, which were still above the surface, to save themselves, and many nearby boats rushed to their aid, but despite these efforts and the short distance to land, 30 people perished with the ship, according to reports.

Vasa sank in full view of a crowd of hundreds, if not thousands, of mostly ordinary Stockholmers who had come to see the great ship set sail.

The Council sent a letter to the king the day after the loss, telling him of the sinking, but it took over two weeks to reach him in Poland. Under initial interrogation, he swore that the guns had been properly secured and that the crew was sober.

A full inquest before a tribunal of members of the Privy Council and Admiralty took place at the Royal Palace on 5 September Each of the surviving officers was questioned as was the supervising shipwright and a number of expert witnesses.

The object of the inquest was as much or more to find a scapegoat as to find out why the ship had sunk. Whoever the committee might find guilty for the fiasco would face a severe penalty.

Surviving crew members were questioned one by one about the handling of the ship at the time of the disaster. Was it rigged properly for the wind?

Was the crew sober? Was the ballast properly stowed? Were the guns properly secured? However, no-one was prepared to take the blame. Crewmen and contractors formed two camps; each tried to blame the other, and everyone swore he had done his duty without fault and it was during the inquest that the details of the stability demonstration were revealed.

Next, attention was directed to the shipbuilders. Jacobsson had in fact widened the ship by 1 foot 5 inches c. In the end, no guilty party could be found.

Gustavus Adolphus had approved all measurements and armaments, and the ship was built according to the instructions and loaded with the number of guns specified.

In the end, no-one was punished or found guilty for negligence, and the blame effectively fell on Henrik Hybertsson. Less than three days after the disaster, a contract was signed for the ship to be raised.

However, those efforts were unsuccessful. Two ships or hulks were placed parallel to either side above the wreck, and ropes attached to several anchors were sent down and hooked to the ship.

The two hulks were filled with as much water as was safe, the ropes tightened, and the water pumped out. The sunken ship then rose with the ships on the surface and could be towed to shallower waters.

The process was then repeated until the entire ship was successfully raised above water level. Even if the underwater weight of Vasa was not great, the mud in which it had settled made it sit more secure on the bottom and required considerable lifting power to overcome.

With a simple diving bell , the team of Swedish and Finnish divers retrieved more than 50 of them. Such activity waned when it became clear that the ship could not be raised by the technology of the time.

However, Vasa did not fall completely into obscurity after the recovery of the guns. The ship was mentioned in several histories of Sweden and the Swedish Navy, and the location of the wreck appeared on harbor charts of Stockholm in the 19th century.

In , the navy officer Anton Ludwig Fahnehjelm turned in a request for salvaging rights to the ship, claiming he had located it. Fahnehjelm was an inventor who designed an early form of light diving suit and had previously been involved in other salvage operations.

There were dives made on the wreck in —, and a commercial salvage company applied for a permit to raise or salvage the wreck in , but this was turned down.

In , a witness also claimed that his father, a petty officer in the Swedish navy, had taken part in diving exercises on Vasa in the years before World War I.

Almost all of the iron on the ship rusted away within a few years of the sinking, and only large objects, such as anchors, or items made of cast iron, such as cannonballs, survived.

Organic materials fared better in the anaerobic conditions, and so wood, cloth and leather are often in very good condition, but objects exposed to the currents were eroded by the sediment in the water, so that some are barely recognizable.

Of the human remains, most of the soft tissue was quickly consumed by bacteria, fish and crustaceans, leaving only the bones, which were often held together only by clothing, although in one case, hair, nails and brain tissue survived.

The parts of the hull held together by joinery and wooden treenails remained intact for as much as two centuries, suffering gradual erosion of surfaces exposed to the water, unless they were disturbed by outside forces.

The quarter galleries , which were merely nailed to the sides of the sterncastle, collapsed fairly quickly and were found lying almost directly below their original locations.

Human activity was the most destructive factor, as the initial salvage efforts, the recovery of the guns, and the final salvage in the 20th century all left their marks.

Peckell and Treileben broke up and removed much of the planking of the weather deck to get to the cannons on the decks below.

Peckell reported that he had recovered 30 cartloads of wood from the ship; these might have included not just planking and structural details but also some of the sculptures which today are missing, such as the life-size Roman warrior near the bow and the sculpture of Septimius Severus that adorned the port side of the beakhead.

Construction work in Stockholm harbor usually results in blasting of bedrock, and the resulting tonnes of rubble were often dumped in the harbor; some of this landed on the ship, causing further damage to the stern and the upper deck.

He spent many years probing the waters without success around the many assumed locations of the wreckage. He did not succeed until, based on accounts of an unknown topographical anomaly just south of the Gustav V dock on Beckholmen , he narrowed his search.

In , with a home-made, gravity-powered coring probe, he located a large wooden object almost parallel to the mouth of dock on Beckholmen. The location of the ship received considerable attention, even if the identification of the ship could not be determined without closer investigation.

Soon after the announcement of the find, planning got underway to determine how to excavate and raise Vasa. The Swedish Navy was involved from the start, as were various museums and the National Heritage board, representatives of which eventually formed the Vasa Committee, the predecessor of the Vasa Board.

A number of possible recovery methods were proposed, including filling the ship with ping-pong balls and freezing it in a block of ice, but the method chosen by the Vasa Board which succeeded the Vasa Committee was essentially the same one attempted immediately after the sinking.

Divers spent two years digging six tunnels under the ship for steel cable slings, which were taken to a pair of lifting pontoons at the surface. The work under the ship was extremely dangerous, requiring the divers to cut tunnels through the clay with high-pressure water jets and suck up the resulting slurry with a dredge, all while working in total darkness with hundreds of tonnes of mud-filled ship overhead.

The almost vertical sections of the tunnels near the side of the hull could also potentially collapse and bury a diver inside.

Each time the pontoons were pumped full, the cables tightened and the pontoons were pumped out, the ship was brought a metre closer to the surface.

The gun ports were closed by means of temporary lids, a temporary replacement of the collapsed sterncastle was constructed, and many of the holes from the iron bolts that had rusted away were plugged.

The final lift began on 8 April , and on the morning of 24 April, Vasa was ready to return to the world for the first time in years.

Press from all over the world, television cameras, invited guests on barges and boats, and thousands of spectators on shore watched as the first timbers broke the surface.

The ship was then emptied of water and mud and towed to the Gustav V dry dock on Beckholmen, where the ship was floated on its own keel onto a concrete pontoon, on which the hull still stands.

A building was erected over the ship on its pontoon, but it was very cramped, making conservation work awkward.

Visitors could view the ship from just two levels, and the maximum viewing distance was in most places only a couple of metres, which made it difficult for viewers to get an overall view of the ship.

In , the Swedish government decided that a permanent building was to be constructed, and a design competition was organised.

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The museum was officially opened to the public in Four more heavy guns were intended for the stern, but the cannon foundry could not cast guns as fast as the navy yard could spanische handball liga ships, and Vasa waited nearly a year after construction was finished for its armament. The Swedish king had little sympathy for the Danish king, Christian IVand Denmark and Sweden had been bitter enemies for well over a century. Whoever the committee might find dreams casino code 2019 for the fiasco would face a severe parship profil beispiel. What made her arguably the most powerful warship of the time was the combined weight of shot that could be fired from the cannon of one side: The highly toxic and hostile environment meant cyberghost keine verbindung even the toughest microorganisms that break down wood had difficulty surviving. However, Sweden feared a Catholic conquest of Copenhagen and Zealand. Ships contemporary to Vasa that were elongated were cut in half and new timbers spliced between the existing sections, making the addition readily identifiable, but no such addition can be identified in the zaehlen, nor is there any evidence for any late additions of a second gundeck. Guns were expensive and had a much longer lifespan than any em steine. The centre of gravity is too high, and so it takes very little force to make the ship heel over, and there is not enough righting momentforce trying to make the ship return to an upright position. The ship was warped hauled by anchor along the eastern waterfront of the city to the southern side of the harbor, where four sails hocker stern set, and the ship made way to the east. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Gustavus Adolphus was engaged in naval warfare on several fronts, which further exacerbated the difficulties of the navy. Despite this, the newer bolts also started to rust and were releasing iron into the wood, which accelerated the deterioration. Stars acquire defenseman Jamie Oleksiak from Penguins Dallas sends Pittsburgh a fourth-round draft pick in exchange for the year-old blueliner.

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The two hulks were filled with as much water as was safe, the ropes tightened, and the water pumped out. The sunken ship then rose with the ships on the surface and could be towed to shallower waters.

The process was then repeated until the entire ship was successfully raised above water level. Even if the underwater weight of Vasa was not great, the mud in which it had settled made it sit more secure on the bottom and required considerable lifting power to overcome.

With a simple diving bell , the team of Swedish and Finnish divers retrieved more than 50 of them. Such activity waned when it became clear that the ship could not be raised by the technology of the time.

However, Vasa did not fall completely into obscurity after the recovery of the guns. The ship was mentioned in several histories of Sweden and the Swedish Navy, and the location of the wreck appeared on harbor charts of Stockholm in the 19th century.

In , the navy officer Anton Ludwig Fahnehjelm turned in a request for salvaging rights to the ship, claiming he had located it.

Fahnehjelm was an inventor who designed an early form of light diving suit and had previously been involved in other salvage operations.

There were dives made on the wreck in —, and a commercial salvage company applied for a permit to raise or salvage the wreck in , but this was turned down.

In , a witness also claimed that his father, a petty officer in the Swedish navy, had taken part in diving exercises on Vasa in the years before World War I.

Almost all of the iron on the ship rusted away within a few years of the sinking, and only large objects, such as anchors, or items made of cast iron, such as cannonballs, survived.

Organic materials fared better in the anaerobic conditions, and so wood, cloth and leather are often in very good condition, but objects exposed to the currents were eroded by the sediment in the water, so that some are barely recognizable.

Of the human remains, most of the soft tissue was quickly consumed by bacteria, fish and crustaceans, leaving only the bones, which were often held together only by clothing, although in one case, hair, nails and brain tissue survived.

The parts of the hull held together by joinery and wooden treenails remained intact for as much as two centuries, suffering gradual erosion of surfaces exposed to the water, unless they were disturbed by outside forces.

The quarter galleries , which were merely nailed to the sides of the sterncastle, collapsed fairly quickly and were found lying almost directly below their original locations.

Human activity was the most destructive factor, as the initial salvage efforts, the recovery of the guns, and the final salvage in the 20th century all left their marks.

Peckell and Treileben broke up and removed much of the planking of the weather deck to get to the cannons on the decks below.

Peckell reported that he had recovered 30 cartloads of wood from the ship; these might have included not just planking and structural details but also some of the sculptures which today are missing, such as the life-size Roman warrior near the bow and the sculpture of Septimius Severus that adorned the port side of the beakhead.

Construction work in Stockholm harbor usually results in blasting of bedrock, and the resulting tonnes of rubble were often dumped in the harbor; some of this landed on the ship, causing further damage to the stern and the upper deck.

He spent many years probing the waters without success around the many assumed locations of the wreckage. He did not succeed until, based on accounts of an unknown topographical anomaly just south of the Gustav V dock on Beckholmen , he narrowed his search.

In , with a home-made, gravity-powered coring probe, he located a large wooden object almost parallel to the mouth of dock on Beckholmen.

The location of the ship received considerable attention, even if the identification of the ship could not be determined without closer investigation.

Soon after the announcement of the find, planning got underway to determine how to excavate and raise Vasa.

The Swedish Navy was involved from the start, as were various museums and the National Heritage board, representatives of which eventually formed the Vasa Committee, the predecessor of the Vasa Board.

A number of possible recovery methods were proposed, including filling the ship with ping-pong balls and freezing it in a block of ice, but the method chosen by the Vasa Board which succeeded the Vasa Committee was essentially the same one attempted immediately after the sinking.

Divers spent two years digging six tunnels under the ship for steel cable slings, which were taken to a pair of lifting pontoons at the surface.

The work under the ship was extremely dangerous, requiring the divers to cut tunnels through the clay with high-pressure water jets and suck up the resulting slurry with a dredge, all while working in total darkness with hundreds of tonnes of mud-filled ship overhead.

The almost vertical sections of the tunnels near the side of the hull could also potentially collapse and bury a diver inside.

Each time the pontoons were pumped full, the cables tightened and the pontoons were pumped out, the ship was brought a metre closer to the surface.

The gun ports were closed by means of temporary lids, a temporary replacement of the collapsed sterncastle was constructed, and many of the holes from the iron bolts that had rusted away were plugged.

The final lift began on 8 April , and on the morning of 24 April, Vasa was ready to return to the world for the first time in years.

Press from all over the world, television cameras, invited guests on barges and boats, and thousands of spectators on shore watched as the first timbers broke the surface.

The ship was then emptied of water and mud and towed to the Gustav V dry dock on Beckholmen, where the ship was floated on its own keel onto a concrete pontoon, on which the hull still stands.

A building was erected over the ship on its pontoon, but it was very cramped, making conservation work awkward. Visitors could view the ship from just two levels, and the maximum viewing distance was in most places only a couple of metres, which made it difficult for viewers to get an overall view of the ship.

In , the Swedish government decided that a permanent building was to be constructed, and a design competition was organised.

Ground was broken in , and Vasa was towed into the half-finished Vasa Museum in December The museum was officially opened to the public in Vasa posed an unprecedented challenge for archaeologists.

Never before had a four-story structure, with most of its original contents largely undisturbed, been available for excavation. The ship had to be kept wet in order that it not dry out and crack before it could be properly conserved.

Digging had to be performed under a constant drizzle of water and in a sludge-covered mud that could be more than one metre approximately three feet deep.

In order to establish find locations, the hull was divided into several sections demarcated by the many structural beams, the decking and by a line drawn along the centre of the ship from stern to bow.

For the most part, the decks were excavated individually, though at times work progressed on more than one deck level simultaneously. Vasa had four preserved decks: Because of the constraints of preparing the ship for conservation, the archaeologists had to work quickly, in hour shifts during the first week of excavation.

The upper gun deck was greatly disturbed by the various salvage projects between and , and it contained not only material that had fallen down from the rigging and upper deck, but also more than three centuries of harbor refuse.

The gundecks contained not just gun carriages, the three surviving cannons, and other objects of a military nature, but were also where most of the personal possessions of the sailors had been stored at the time of the sinking.

These included a wide range of loose finds, as well as chests and casks with spare clothing and shoes, tools and materials for mending, money in the form of low-denomination copper coins , privately purchased provisions, and all of the everyday objects needed for life at sea.

Most of the finds are of wood, testifying not only to the simple life on board, but to the generally unsophisticated state of Swedish material culture in the early 17th century.

The lower decks were primarily used for storage, and so the hold was filled with barrels of provisions and gunpowder, coils of anchor cable, iron shot for the guns, and the personal possessions of some of the officers.

After the ship itself had been salvaged and excavated, the site of the loss was excavated thoroughly during — This produced many items of rigging tackle as well as structural timbers that had fallen off, particularly from the beakhead and sterncastle.

The last object to be brought up was the nearly metre-long longboat , called esping in Swedish, found lying parallel to the ship and believed to have been towed by Vasa when she sank.

Many of the more recent objects contaminating the site were disregarded when the finds were registered, but some were the remains of the s salvage efforts and others had their own stories to tell.

Among the best known of these was a statue of 20th-century Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi , which was placed on the ship as a prank by students of Helsinki University of Technology the night before the final lift.

Vasa sank because it had very little initial stability , which can be thought of as resistance to heeling over under the force of wind or waves acting on the hull.

The reason for this is that the distribution of mass in the hull structure and the ballast, guns, provisions, and other objects loaded on board puts too much weight too high in the ship.

The centre of gravity is too high, and so it takes very little force to make the ship heel over, and there is not enough righting moment , force trying to make the ship return to an upright position.

The reason that the ship has such a high centre of gravity is not due to the guns. This is relatively low weight and should be bearable in a ship this size.

The problem is in the hull construction itself. The part of the hull above the waterline is too high and too heavily built in relation to the amount of hull in the water.

The headroom in the decks is higher than necessary for crewmen who were, on average, only 1. In addition, the deck beams and their supporting timbers are over-dimensioned and too closely spaced for the loads they carry, so they contribute too much weight to the already tall and heavy upper works.

The use of different measuring systems on either side of the vessel caused its mass to be distributed asymmetrically, heavier to port.

During construction both Swedish feet and Amsterdam feet were in use by different teams. Archaeologists have found four rulers used by the workmen who built the ship.

Two were calibrated in Swedish feet, which had 12 inches, while the other two measured Amsterdam feet, which had 11 inches.

Although the mathematical tools for calculating or predicting stability were still more than a century in the future, and 17th-century scientific ideas about how ships behaved in water were deeply flawed, the people associated with building and sailing ships for the Swedish navy were very much aware of the forces at work and their relationships to each other.

In the last part of the inquest held after the sinking, a group of master shipwrights and senior naval officers were asked for their opinions about why the ship sank.

Ship design was not yet a science, but was an empirical process based on experience rather than calculation. Balancing the military need for firepower against the maritime need for seaworthiness resulted in some compromises that would not pass modern standards for stability.

A ship with two gundecks was an even more demanding proposition, as the lower tier of gunports had to be uncomfortably close to the water, and there was an unavoidably large amount of weight being carried above the waterline.

One of the solutions which became common was graduated armament, in which the guns of the upper decks were progressively lighter. Vasa might not have sunk on 10 August , if the ship had been sailed with the gunports closed.

Ships with multiple tiers of gunports normally had to sail with the lowest tier closed, since the pressure of wind in the sails would usually push the hull over until the lower gunport sills were under water.

For this reason, the gunport lids are made with a double lip which is designed to seal well enough to keep out most of the water. If he had done it before he sailed, Vasa might not have sunk on that day.

Although Vasa was in surprisingly good condition after years at the bottom of the sea, it would have quickly deteriorated if the hull had been simply allowed to dry.

The large bulk of Vasa , over cubic metres 21, cu ft of oak timber, constituted an unprecedented conservation problem. After some debate on how to best preserve the ship, conservation was carried out by impregnation with polyethylene glycol PEG , a method that has since become the standard treatment for large, waterlogged wooden objects, such as the 16th-century English ship Mary Rose.

Vasa was sprayed with PEG for 17 years, followed by a long period of slow drying, which is not yet entirely complete.

The highly toxic and hostile environment meant that even the toughest microorganisms that break down wood had difficulty surviving. This, along with the fact that Vasa had been newly built and was undamaged when she sank, contributed to her conservation.

Unfortunately, the properties of the water also had a negative effect. Chemicals present in the water around Vasa had penetrated the wood, and the timber was full of the corrosion products from the bolts and other iron objects which had disappeared.

Once the ship was exposed to the air, reactions began inside the timber that produced acidic compounds. In the late s, spots of white and yellow residue were noticed on Vasa and some of the associated artefacts.

These turned out to be sulfate -containing salts that had formed on the surface of the wood when sulfides reacted with atmospheric oxygen.

The salts on the surface of Vasa and objects found in and around it are not a threat themselves even if the discolouring may be distracting , but if they are from inside the wood, they may expand and crack the timber from inside.

Experiments done by Japanese researchers show that treating wood with PEG in an acidic environment can generate formic acid and eventually liquify the wood.

Vasa was exposed to acidic water for more than three centuries, and therefore has a relatively low pH. Samples taken from the ship indicate that formic acid is present, and that it could be one of the multiple causes of a suddenly accelerated rate of decomposition.

The museum is constantly monitoring the ship for damage caused by decay or warping of the wood. Ongoing research seeks the best way to preserve the ship for future generations and to analyze the existing material as closely as possible.

A current problem is that the old oak of which the ship is built has lost a substantial amount of its original strength and the cradle that supports the ship does not match up very well with the distribution of weight and stress in the hull.

An effort to secure Vasa for the future is under way, in cooperation with the Royal Institute of Technology and other institutions around the globe.

To slow the destruction by acidic compounds, different methods have been tried. Small objects have been sealed in plastic containers filled with an inert atmosphere of nitrogen gas, for halting further reactions between sulfides and oxygen.

The ship itself has been treated with cloth saturated in a basic liquid to neutralise the low pH, but this is only a temporary solution as acid is continuously produced.

The original bolts rusted away after the ship sank but were replaced with modern ones that were galvanised and covered with epoxy resin. Despite this, the newer bolts also started to rust and were releasing iron into the wood, which accelerated the deterioration.

Within the disciplines of history and maritime archaeology the wrecks of large warships from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries have received particularly widespread attention as perceived symbols of a past greatness of the state of Sweden.

Among these wrecks, Vasa is the single best known example, and has also become recognised internationally, not least through a deliberate use of the ship as a symbol for marketing Sweden abroad.

The name Vasa has in Sweden become synonymous with sunken vessels that are considered to be of great historical importance, and these are usually described, explained and valued in relation to Vasa itself.

Vasa has been the subject of hundreds of books, articles and papers on topics ranging from marine archaeology to culinary history. The Vasa Museum has co-sponsored two versions of a documentary about the history and recovery of the ship, both by documentary filmmaker Anders Wahlgren.

The second version is currently shown in the museum and has been released on VHS and DVD with narration in 16 languages. In late , a third Vasa -film premiered on Swedish television, with a longer running time and a considerably larger budget with over 7.

Several mass-produced model kits and countless custom-built models of the ship have been made. In , a tonne pastiche reproduction of the ship was built in Tokyo to serve as a passenger sightseeing ship.

Commercially produced replicas—such as drinking glasses, plates, spoons, and even a backgammon game—have been made from many of the objects belonging to the crew or officers found on the ship.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Early 17th century Swedish warship which foundered on her maiden voyage, later salvaged and displayed in Stockholm.

This spelling was adopted because it is the form preferred by modern Swedish language authorities, and conforms to the spelling reforms instituted in Sweden in the early 20th century.

The Formation of National Urban Parks: The total is based on statistics from the official website of the Vasa Museum: Archived from the original on 13 July Retrieved 8 December Retrieved 19 February Aired 5 October Retrieved 4 March Ny Teknik on 19 July Retrieved 18 December archived 22 June at the Wayback Machine.

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5 Responses

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