Time for new dives at the Kronan wreck site

For the fifth year in a row, the Kalmar county museum is carrying out marine archaeological investigations of the wreck of the regal ship Kronan with assistance from the Swedish Armed Forces' First Submarine Flotilla. The work takes place in two stages. The first one now begins at the turn of May-June. The second stage is planned for mid-August 2023.

The purpose of this year's effort is to continue to investigate the outside of the wreck, which lies pressed into the mud at a depth of 27 meters. Knowledge of how the exterior of the Crown was constructed and decorated is very limited, as it was inaccessible for several hundred years. The fore and aft parts of the ship's side were the areas that were provided with the most decorations on warships of the great power era. The reason why precisely the aft parts were provided with rich and spectacular decoration, was that it was in this part of the ship where the high officers had their quarters. Despite the somewhat chaotic environment, with lots of material crushed under the weight of the ship's side, a number of sculptures and decorative wood carvings have so far been salvaged from the underside of the wreck. 

The submarine recovery ship HMS Belos serves, as in previous years, as a diving platform, and the diving work is carried out by the Swedish Armed Forces' heavy divers, who are also part of the ship's crew. Through their consistent and professional way of working, the divers enable the marine archaeological objectives that form the basis of the effort. On board are also the county museum's archaeologists and conservators, to identify, document and dispose of the salvaged find material.

152 cm long, symmetrical coat of arms (find number KLM 18147 KR, see fig. 6) with the king's initials, CR (Carolus Rex), recovered in August 2022 from the underside of the port side of the wreck. Photo: Photo: Kalmar county museum/Kronan project
36-pound bronze cannon salvaged from the Kronan in May 2022. The cannon is the 48th salvaged from the wreck, since its discovery in August 1980. Photo: The Armed Forces/Kalmar county museum