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Keywords:

  • maritime archaeology;
  • shipwreck;
  • Baltic Sea;
  • preservation;
  • artificial reef;
  • Vrouw Maria

Vrouw Maria, a merchant vessel sailing from Amsterdam to St Petersburg in 1771, ran aground in the northern Baltic Sea. Her cargo included Dutch works of art bought by Catherine the Great. The wreck was located in 1999, 41 m deep. This study aims to understand environmental factors and physical stresses affecting the wreck, using three different approaches—studying the wreck as an artificial reef; describing the conditions inside the wreck; and measuring the physical stresses caused by currents. The methods applied were biological, archaeological, hydrological, geological and physical. The data will be a basis for further monitoring.

© 2010 The Authors