In the bottom of the Baltic Sea, to the east of Sweden, divers were searching the remains of a 17th-century shipwreck. Buried in the slit of a sea bed was a tin pot. What they found inside is something they never expected to find.
In June 1676, the Kronan exploded and sank off the southern tip of the Baltic Sea, while on its way to battle. Historians say the vessel foundered while trying to turn in rough weather. The bad decision led to an explosion of gunpowder and in effect blowing off its bow. Only 42 of the 800 crew members survived.
The Kronan was rediscovered in 1980 by archaeologist and engineer Anders Franzén and his colleagues, Sten Ahlberg and Bengt Grisell. Research and excavations began the following year. For over 30 years, the excavation of the Kronan has continued. On many of the dives, explorers have uncovered more and more from the wreckage.
The Guardian reports “the Kronan – currently Sweden’s largest underwater archaeology project – has yielded nearly 30,000 artifacts, including dozens of bronze cannon, coins, medical items, bottles.” However, the divers never expected to find what they did.
A Tin Pot Found
Every June to August, researchers have been diving down to the wreck and more an more is being discovered. Hauntingly, divers have found nearly almost 900 pounds of bones. Even after making such chilling discoveries. They never expected to find what they did. During one dive, an excavator saw something “pressed into the clay” of the seabed. It was a tin pot.
A Stinky Discovery
When divers brought the tin to the surface, the smell was absolutely horrible. What had they just discovered? Upon opening the tin, the researchers found cheese! “It’s like a mixture of yeast and Roquefort, a sort of really ripe, unpasteurised cheese,” said Lars Einarsson who is in charge of the dive on the wreck. The cheese is thought to be 340-years-old and Einarsson suggests no one should eat it.