Ulvøysund Viking Shipwreck

Promare, in cooperation with the Norwegian Maritime Museum, has been surveying selected parts of the Norwegian coast and waterways in search of submerged Viking Ships. In 2012 the Norwegian Maritime Museum received a tip about an interesting shipwreck in the southern part of Norway. Based on carbon dating it was recently established that this is the remains of Norway’s oldest shipwreck and the only Viking age ship discovered underwater in Norway. The ship is dated to around year 1000, it was probably a trading vessel travelling from the west coast of Norway loaded with a cargo of grinding stones. In 2019 Promare and the Norwegian Maritime Museum carried out a detailed mapping of the site. This was featured in National Geographic Channel Drain the Oceans – Vikings Seas episode (s.3, e.2).

In 2020 a team from the Norwegian Maritime Museum and Promare carried out a complete pre-disturbance survey of the site. This included a high-resolution photomosaic.

The team carried out an extensive excavation of the main cargo area in the summer of 2021. We discovered both reindeer antler and wooden elements from the shipwreck, but no large wooden ship structures were discovered. Both the antler and the wooden ship parts have now been dated and confirms that the ship sank around year 1000, making it the only known Viking age shipwreck ever located in Norway. See the video from the project here.