This 18th Century Shipwreck Sheds Light on Ancient Alcohol Bottling

Researchers believe that this ship was likely en route to the former Russian capital of St. Petersburg when it sank.

ship wreck
Stichting Maritieme Schilderijen, Peter J. Sterkenburg

A team of researchers at the Underwater Research Center of the Russian Geographical Society is now uncovering several interesting information about a Dutch ship that wrecked in the 18th century. The wrecked ship is discovered in the Gulf of Finland, and researchers believe that the vessel was likely en route to the former Russian capital of St. Petersburg when it sank.

Ship Wreck Sheds Light on Alcohol Bottling

Russian researchers have discovered hundreds of glass bottles from the sunken ship. Even though the ship was discovered in 2018, it was on last year that the Russian team made their first dive to the water vessel, in an attempt to unlock the mysteries. This month, the research team studied the wrecked ship which is lying at a depth of more than 164 feet in detail.

According to researchers who took part in this exploration, some of the bottles discovered are very narrow, while others are wide. Interestingly, the bottles are also a mixture of factory-made and handmade. Even though most of the bottles have not survived the wreck, a stamp discovered on one of the bottles indicates that the ship might have been carrying alcoholic drinks.

In a recent statement issued, the Russian Geographical Society revealed that such bottles were used to store gin, a distilled alcoholic drink that derives its predominant flavor from juniper berries.

Revelation from Researchers

"Most likely, the ship was sailing to St. Petersburg and was carrying bottles of alcohol on board. But what exactly was in the bottles is difficult to say, because now there is just rotten substance. Several bottles smell of pine needles, eucalyptus," said Roman Prokhorov, an underwater archaeologist, and restorer of the Underwater Research Center of the Russian Geographical Society, in a recent statement.

Researchers at the Russian Geographical Society soon contacted the State Heritage Museum to determine whether there are any other similar bottles discovered in the past. However, there are no similar bottles in the museum, and experts are now planning to study more about the artifacts which are being now getting discovered from the shipwreck site.