Lithuanian case - Relict forest area/wrecks

Case owner: Klaipeda University.

Area with relics of underwater natural and cultural landscapes including wrecks is to be proposed to embed into the national planning documents in order to regulate the utilization of the identified assets. During the field studies in the area it was planned to delineate the most valuable area and prepare the comprehensive description of the assets in order to be suitable for official planning exercise.


Main characteristics:

  • Well-preserved remains of the relic trees underwater – over 100 objects identified as trees and peat are found at the depth of 24.5 to 29 meters;
  • Dating of the remains shows the age of 11410–10170 cal. BP (9640–8220 cal. BC) and 9150-8520 cal. BP (7200–6570 cal. BC);
  • Dates evidences that underwater landscape with pine forests and small lakes existed before the transgression of Ancylus Lake stage of the Baltic Sea;
  • There is suspicion that area during the Yoldia Sea and Ancylus Lake periods have been settled by the Mesolithic inhabitants– early Mesolithic Kunda culture (Pulli stage), and – Maglemose settlers.
  • 8 wrecks of wooden and metal hull, aged to 19-20th c. Fishing boats and German cargo ship (steamer) Anna Katrin Fritzen (1938–1942), ex Gerda Kunstmann (1914), ex Vulcan (1911).


Applied methods:

  • ~70 km2 sea bed area has been scanned by the side-scan sonar and multi-beam echo-sounder;
  • Inspected by divers (provisionally measured, photographed and video-recorded);
  • Radiocarbon (14C) dating;
  • Studies of historical sources;
  • Cooperation with amateur diver NGOs.

Status: 08.04.2020.



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