Archaeologists excavating the wreckage of a medieval ship near the harbor of Tallinn's Old Town, Estonia, have discovered an unusual artifact. It was the oldest dry compass in Europe that still works.
It was dug up on Lootsi Street and transported to the Estonian Maritime Museum in four parts. This was reported by The History Blog.
The excavation revealed a number of finds in excellent condition, including leather shoes, wooden spoons and tools that were preserved by the harbor silt flooded with water. The shoes were worn and repaired, so not a cargo intended for sale.
This means that the ship sank as a result of an accident, and everyone who could escape did so, leaving their belongings behind. The compass and the well-preserved remains of two rats, which apparently did not leave the sinking ship, were the most surprising finds.
Using tree ring dating, museum researchers determined that the wood used to build the ship was cut down around 1360.
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