A medieval ship believed to have been sunk deliberately some 600 years ago was pulled nearly intact from a Dutch River on Feb. 10, the NL Times reports. It's a "fantastic achievement," the project lead tells Live Science, which was the culmination of three years of meticulous planning, including building a platform and a crane and suctioning debris from the ship's frame. "The shipwreck can become a symbol of our rich maritime history, and I fully expect many people, both young and old, to be amazed by and start enjoying this ship," he says. The 65-foot, 55-ton ship was discovered in 2012 during efforts to widen the flow of the Ijssel River. It is a ship known as a cog, which were used for international trade voyages in the late medieval period, per Live Science.
While the vessel was stripped down before it was sunk, researchers did find a brick oven and glazed tiles in its galley. A barge and punt (a small boat) of the same period also were found on the riverbed. Researchers believe the watercraft were sunk purposely to divert the flow of the river and improve sea traffic. Now, the ship will be transported to a preservation facility in Leylstad, where it may take as long as three years to dry out. The hope is to eventually put the ship in a museum. But there is a possibility that the drying process won't work, in which case, Live Science notes, it will be studied then destroyed. (This shipwreck yielded a condiment once popular in the Roman empire.)