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Possible 17th-century shipwreck washes ashore near Rīga

The Baltic Sea has supplied what may be a significant archaeological find, with what is believed to be an ancient shipweck washing ashore at Bolderāja, not far from Rīga.

According to LSM's Latvian language service a local resident spotted pieces of the wreck and informed the Riga History and Navigation Museum. On July 5, a museum official went to see the discovery and was surprised by what was revealed.

It is currently suspected that a shipwreck might date back to the 17th century or even earlier as the ship appears to have been constructed using wooden pegs rather than metal nails or screws, and is estimated to be around 10 meters long.  

"It's hard to measure, because it's still partially in the water and it's not possible to pull it out using anything at our disposal," said the museum's Solvita Kokina.

She pointed out another problem, too: that though this is potentially an important find, the museum has no place to put it and as soon as it is removed from the water it will rapidly begin to deteriorate. 

Bolderāja was once an important gateway to Rīga for shipping, known as Dunamunde in German. It is where the River Daugava enters the Gulf of Riga and historically was where larger ships, unable to navigate the river to Rīga itself, would discharge their cargoes. 

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