Segments in this Video

Marine Archaeologists Identify the Gribshunden (05:14)


Marine Archaeologists Brendan Foley, Johan Ronnby, and Niklas Eriksson identify a shipwreck as Danish King Hans’s flagship. Five hundred years ago, the monarch built a famous naval fleet. Five reports describe the boat landing on Stora Ekon in 1495 before mysteriously sinking.

Three-Dimensional Mapping and Artifact s (07:41)

Foley and Ronnby must first understand how much of the Gribshunden is intact. Photographers help virtually map the shipwreck; loose decking blocks access to lower levels. They use a handheld dredge to clear the mud, finding chainmail and other evidence of warfare.

Gribshunden: Equipped to Fight (06:38)

Historical sources describe the focus of King Hans. Underwater archaeologists discover remnants of the Gribshunden's defenses and firearms, determining the vessel as the most advanced warship of its time. The Gribshunden was used as a political statement.

Evolution of Naval Construction (04:26)

The Gribshunden was built for war; previous European ships were built using traditional designs. Viking longboat clinker hulls made them light but limited their size. King Hans used his flagship for ocean voyages, requiring sturdier construction.

Pinpointing Gribshunden's Origins (11:09)

The excavation team, under time constraints, examines the ship’s hull, finding construction similar to Roman caravels; the Gribshunden was larger. The ship's timber was harvested from France in 1482; the barrel wood originates from Sweden and Poland.

Gribshunden's Cargo Hold (03:00)

Ronnby discusses the large amount of barrels in Gribshunden’s hold. Osteologist Stella Macheridis studies bone fragments. Further excavation reveals a wooden tankard and other personal items.

Gribshunden's Wealth and Weaponry (07:29)

At Denmark Technical University, archaeologists use a CT scanner, to look inside a leather pouch; it holds a stack of coins. Gribshunden's shipwright fused technologies to create a more seaworthy ship able to carry more people, supplies, and weapons; it revolutionized European marine engineering.

Revolutionizing Naval Construction (04:28)

King Hans used Gribshunden to intimidate other countries. A storm forced him to anchor at Stora Ekon and then the ship caught on fire. Its design enabled technological advancements of several cultures and prompted the age of global exploration.

Credits: Ship that Changed the World (00:53)

Credits: Ship that Changed the World

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Ship that Changed the World

3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



The Age of Exploration and Europe’s colonization of far-off lands was launched by a revolution in ship design that made long-distance voyages practical. A newly discovered 500-year-old wreck offers vital clues to this key innovation.

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: BVL273535

Copyright date: ©2021

Closed Captioned

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