In the meantime, the two shipwrecks have been dated, and analyses showed that they were built in the mid-14th century outside Scandinavia.

Before these two wrecks were found, only seven other such vessels were known in Sweden and only around 30 in Europe.

In order to better understand the importance of the wrecks, The Viking Herald reached out to Elisabet Schager, an archaeologist and project leader of the excavation, and Anders Gutehall of Visuell Arkeologi, who took part in the project.

TVH:  Why are the shipwreck finds considered special?

Anders and Elisabeth: Even though cogs were common transport vessels in the whole of Northern Europe between the 13th and 15th centuries, so we don't know much about the ship type. 

Before these two, only seven were found in Sweden, a little over 30 in Europe, and only a few have been excavated. 

The Varberg Cog 1 (the larger of the two), which consists of an almost complete port side, is the most well-preserved cog excavated in Sweden.
 
The Varberg Cog 2 (the smaller) consists of the forward part of the keel and four strakes on each side. This means that the two cogs complement each other. 

The cog 1 shipwreck. Photo: Anders Gutehall / Visuell Arkeologi

The cog 2 shipwreck. Photo: Anders Gutehall / Visuell Arkeologi

TVH: What are the most interesting findings of the analysis carried out on the shipwrecks so far?

Anders and Elisabeth: So far, we have only excavated and lifted up all of the ship timbers. As mentioned above, we will get a lot of information about the construction of the cogs. 

The Varberg Cog 1 had rolled on to its port side in shallow waters while it was still rigged, so we will be able to see how it was rigged. 

In the coming year, we will continue examining the ships' timber and document both of them with a handheld laser scanner.

TVH:  What are the most interesting artifacts found in the wrecks?

Anders and Elisabeth: We have artifacts of the crews' personal belongings, which can give us information about how they lived onboard. 

We also found spare parts for the ship under a pile of ballast stones at the aft end of the Varberg Cog 1. 

You can find more information on Arkeologerna's web page, here.

TVH: How would you assess the importance of the findings?

Anders and Elisabeth: We would say they will give us very valuable information about the cog construction - since so few have been excavated. 

For this excavation, we have used digital documentation methods that will help us during the analysis and also to make a 3D reconstruction.

Experts working at the cog 1 shipwreck site. Source: The Archaeologists / CC BY

We get to provide readers with original coverage thanks to our loyal supporters. Do you enjoy our work? You can become a PATRON here or via our Patreon page. You'll get access to exclusive content and early access.

Do you have a tip that you would like to share with The Viking Herald?
Feel free to reach out to discuss potential stories that may be in the public interest. You can reach us via email at hello@thevikingherald.com with the understanding that the information you provide might be used in our reporting and stories.