Marine archaeological investigations at new bridge across StorstrÝmmen

The Danish Road Directorate plan to build a new bridge across Storstrømmen, connecting Sealand and Falster via Masnedø. The bridge will be about 4 km long and have a budget around 4.2 billion. Danish kroner.

Since the bridge is to be built in an area that originally had Stone Age settlements extensive Marine archaeological investigations were required. 9000 years ago the sea surface was 30 m lower than it is today. Hunting and fishing were major activities in the everyday lives of Stone Age people, and settlements were often located on the coast.

The land level continued to rise as time passed, but around 7000 BC, the ice melted so rapidly that the sea rose faster than the land. The coastal settlements were flooded and gradually covered by protective layers of sediment, providing good preservation conditions for tools and other artefacts of perishable materials. That is why many well preserved items of wood are found under water whereas they are seldom preserved on land.

Over several campaigns from January to October 2015 JD-Contractor assisted the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde with examining the area and identifying sites for closer investigations. Over the period we had three different vessels on site and marine archaeological investigations were performed with as different tools as geophysical setups, excavator, divers with hand tools and suction equipment.

During the campaigns the Viking Ship Museum found numerous artefacts of great historical importance and gathered new important information about life in the Stone Age.