Archaeological divers surveying the Vistula river near Poland’s capital Warsaw have discovered a well-preserved timber szkuta or barge, which they reckon could be as much as 600 years old.
The 37m-long, 6m-wide vessel is believed to have been constructed between the 14th and 18th centuries to carry up to 100 tons of grain. Poland was for a long period western Europe’s major supplier, and the 650-mile Vistula is its biggest river, draining into the Baltic Sea.
The researchers from Stowarzyszenie Archeologów Jutra (Archaeologists of Tomorrow Association) had been using side-scan sonar to survey the Vistula’s muddy bed as part of their work to create an inventory of collapsed river-bridges.
They also found part of the timber frame of another boat of indeterminate age during their survey of an eight-mile section of the river north of Warsaw, as well as pilings and remains of the structure of a German Army-built bridge from WW2.