15th Century Weapons Chest Discovered By Divers May Shed Light On ‘Military Revolution’

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Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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A report published and updated Wednesday detailed the remarkable discovery of a 15th-century weapons chest that may shape our understanding of our ancestors’ naval battles.

The chest found aboard the sunken Danish royal “floating castle” the Gribshunden (“Griffin Hound”) has laid in place since the vessel sank in 1495, according to a report from Stockholm University. The ship sank at an anchorage in southern Sweden after a fire erupted, likely caused by the mishandling of gunpowder, Live Science noted.

“This is very much at the beginning of what we call the ‘military revolution at sea,'” Stockholm University maritime archaeologist Rolf Warming told Live Science. “The tactics and technology for that were only fulfilled in the second half of the 17th century.”

The discovery also suggests this was a time when ramming and engaging in hand-to-hand combat were falling out of fashion in favor of attacking enemy ships at a distance using gunfire, Warming added.

While the “zeuglade” chest has yet to be raised from the depths, Warming and his fellow researchers have 3D modeled the item to create a precise understanding of its size and detail. It’s believed it was a type of tool chest that was used by military men at the time to create ammunition. (RELATED: Archaeologists Find ‘Very Powerful’ Man And His Big Sword In Rare Discovery)

Getting it up from the water should happen in the near future but preserving its contents once it reaches land is a complicated process. And once we know what’s inside, we’ll be able to put together a piece of our recent history that has already been lost to the passage of time.