The wreckage of a 500 years old trade ship has been discovered on the bottom of the North Sea by a team of specialists from the Netherlands during a search operation for containers, the Dutch Ministry of Culture announced yesterday.

This is the oldest shipwreck to be discovered in the North Sea.

The ship, which probably is 30 meters long, was built around the year 1540 and was transporting copper to the Fugger trade family in Germany. The Fugger family owned the monopoly in the copper industry in the 16th century. The copper plates that were saved bear the symbol of the Fugger family.

The search team discovered the shipwreck by accident in the waters nearby the Wadden islands. The team was searching for containers that fell into the North Sea in January from the MSC Zoe cargo ship on route to Germany.

This discovery marks an “enrichment of the Dutch cultural portfolio patrimony” Ingrid van Engelshoven said.

So far the authorities have not decided what to do with the shipwreck.


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