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Directorate for Cultural Heritage

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Press release

18th century shipwreck discovered in Norway


Members of a Norwegian diving club has discovered the wreckage of the Dutch trading vessel Juffrau Elisabeth in Søgne, Norway. The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage will fund a site documentation conducted by The Norwegian Maritime Museum and Søgne Diving Club will receive a record-breaking finder’s reward.

 This is an incredible find. We do not have many shipwrecks in Norway that compares to Juffrau Elisabeth, says Hanna Geiran, Director General of The Directorate for Cultural Heritage.

 Søgne Diving Club have been searching for this shipwreck for over 10 years.

Documentation of the site

The Norwegian Maritime Museum will conduct a documentation of the wreckage. The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage will fund the project with 33 600 Euro.

 We are going to document the wreckage during the next weeks. Photogrammetry will be used to create a 3D-model of the site. Photos will be taken by a remotely operated submarine and some artefacts will be retrieved from the wreckage, says Frode Kvalø underwater archaeologist at The Norwegian Maritime Museum.

Finder’s reward

 Søgne Diving Club did everything «by the book». They immediately reported the find and did not disturb the wreckage. They also carefully documented it using photography and video. They will be given a finder’s reward by The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage, says Ivar Nesse-Aarrestad.

The trade vessel Juffrau Elisabeth sank on the 21st of March 1760 outside the Søgne archipelago. The vessel sank under dubious circumstances and the Dutch Captain Pitter Eelkesh later received criticism during the inquiry. The ship struck several skerries with allsails up. References to the ship in old documents have up until now led archaeologists to believe the ship was saved. The recent discovery is significant, and it will be an incredible source of information for scientists. There are very few preserved shipwrecks from this period in Norway.