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Anton Hansson

Anton Hansson

Laboratory assistant

Anton Hansson

The Danish royal flagship gribshunden : Dendrochronology on a late medieval carvel sunk in the Baltic Sea


  • Anton Hansson
  • Hans Linderson
  • Brendan Foley

Summary, in English

The Royal flagship Gribshunden carried the Danish King Hans on its way to the city of Kalmar in Sweden when the ship sank in the summer of 1495. The ship caught fire while anchored north of the Stora Ek o Island and sank to the seafloor, where it lies to this day. The wreck was rediscovered in the 1970s and is remarkably well preserved.
Since 2001, scientific investigations have been performed on the wreck by various organizations. In total, 13 dendrochronological samples from different parts of the ship construction have been collected and analyzed with standard dendrochronological methods with respect to age and provenance. The results show that all dated samples could have been felled during the winter season of 1482/83, although only one sample contains sapwood and waney edge. The highest correlations are obtained from reference chronologies that originate from the River Meuse drainage area, with correlations peaking around the city of Namur in Belgium. Most likely, the
ship was constructed in a shipyard close to the mouth of the River Meuse in the southern Netherlands. It seems King Hans realized the potential of the new ship type represented by Gribshunden, but his shipwrights did not have the knowledge to build such a ship in Denmark. Instead, he purchased the ship from abroad. This study
highlights late medieval economic and political connections throughout northern Europe.


  • Archaeology
  • Quaternary Sciences

Publishing year








Document type

Journal article




  • Archaeology


  • dendrochronology
  • medieval archaeology
  • shipwreck




  • GRIBSHUNDEN Shipwreck 2019
  • Floating Castles: the Built Environment and Social Signaling in Medieval Scandinavia
  • Gribshunden barrel dendrochronology


  • ISSN: 1125-7865