MoSS United Kingdom
MoSS Deutschland MoSS Nederland MoSS Danmark MoSS Sverige MoSS Suomi

What is MoSS?

The project is set up with the aim of monitoring, safeguarding and visualizing shipwrecks. When monitoring the condition of the wrecks, our objective is to develop and improve the methods used in monitoring the physical and environmental conditions of shipwrecks. In the course of the project, three different wrecks get devices that measure environmental conditions. The safeguarding of the wrecks includes outlining and developing models to protect shipwrecks so that also the needs of different public groups are taken into account. When visualizing the shipwreck sites, the aim is to inform the European public about the shipwrecks of the project in many languages and many ways, and special attention is given to different visual aids.

The project consists of fieldwork, Internet sites, publications, posters, leaflets, reports, articles, meetings, and seminars. Information on the wrecks will be sent out in various ways. One of our objectives, which are both short and long term, is to produce information not only to the general public but also to the experts in the area of protecting the cultural heritage.

The aim is to awaken European peoples' interest to our common underwater cultural heritage and to have the general public participate in protecting the heritage. The project acts as an underwater window to four significant European shipwrecks in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, and Finland.

The main organizer of the project is the Maritime Museum of Finland, which is answerable for the project as a whole. The co-organizers are the Mary Rose Archaeological Services Ltd. (Great Britain), the Netherlands Institute for Ship- and Underwater Archaeology (the Netherlands), The Centre for Maritime Archaeology (Denmark), Archaeological State Museum of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany), and Södertörns högskola (Sweden).

The project is based on four shipwrecks, all of which are of great significance from a European point of view. The wrecks are located in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, and Finland. The wreck in the Netherlands is an unknown merchant vessel that has been dated to the middle of the 17th century. It may be that the ship originates from the areas that now belong to Germany. In the wreck, divers have found ceramic pots from the Iberian Peninsula (now Spain and Portugal). The wreck is located in the western part of the Wadden Sea. The wreck in Germany is an unknown cog from the 13th century. The wreck is at the mouth of Prerowstrom in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The wreck in Sweden is a paddle steamer called Eric Nordewall that suffered shipwreck in 1856. The wreck is in the lake Vättern. The wreck in Finland is a merchant vessel called Vrouw Maria. The snow ship was on her way from Amsterdam to St. Petersburg in 1771 when she suffered shipwreck and sank in the archipelago in the most south-western parts of Finland. All the wrecks have lasted extremely well: two of them are almost intact and two of them have lower parts of the hull left.

The four wrecks are in different kinds of underwater environments: in an inland sea by the Atlantic, in brackish waters in the southern and northern parts of the Baltic Sea, and in a lake. In other words, we get many-sided information when we monitor the physical and environmental conditions of the wrecks.

The project results are registered regularly, and the project gives an annual report to the European Commission. In the project there is also an outside evaluator.

The Culture 2000 is a European Community programme that supports transnational cultural co-operation projects that involve organizers from several countries. The objectives are among other things to encourage co-operation, to promote the common European cultural heritage, and to disseminate the knowledge of the history and culture of the peoples of Europe. In 2001, it was the first time projects on underwater archaeology were called to take part in the program. Our project is the first international shipwreck project that was taken within the Culture 2000 Programme.

More Information

General information on the project will be given by Ms Sallamaria Tikkanen, Project leader, the Maritime Museum of Finland, tel. +358 9 4050 9057, e-mail, (during August 2003 - July 2004 Ms Riikka Alvik, Project leader, the Maritime Museum of Finland, e-mail

Registration period for the Portsmouth Seminar over.