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The animal, whose bones were discovered among the wreckage of the Gribshunden ship in the western Baltic, was very rare in this sea and must have served as a "propaganda tool" for the power and wealth of John I of Denmark.
A study from the University of Lund, in Sweden,published in the Journal of Archaeological Science has concluded that a large fish whose remains were found in a late 15th century shipwreckit was a sturgeon.
It is not just any shipwreck, since King John I of Denmark was traveling on the sunken ship on his way to Sweden to visit Regent Sten Sture the Elder with the intention of reclaiming the Swedish throne.
Archaeologists discovered the fish's bones in a wooden barrel found at the Gribshunden shipwreck site,flagship of the Danish fleet, sailing from Copenhagen to Kalmar in 1495.
When the king was not on board, a fire broke out causing the ship to sink near the town of Ronneby in the western Baltic Sea.
After examining the skeleton, the researchers discovered that the animal measuredtwo meters long, and by means of a DNA analysis they determined that it was a specimen of the species'Acipenser oxyrinchus', Or atlantic sturgeon.
Since this species was very rare in the Baltic, it was used as' apropaganda tool“, Says one of the authors of the work, Brendan P. Foley, quoted by a statement from the University of Lund released this Thursday.
The presence of the precious fish in the ship's holds should impress the observers and convince them of the power and wealth of Juan I.
“It was a very welcome addition to the provisions of the Gribshunden, which included other goods of the highest economic and political status. This royal ship was transporting King John and his entourage to a diplomatic meeting. […] The exhibition of its flagship loaded with objects, animals and prestigious people was an impressivemanifestation of power, designed to astonish the Swedish military, noblemen and politicians who were waiting for him in Kalmar, ”the report's authors argue.