Dive team to scour Danube for Queen Mary's lost belongings
Underwater archaeologists launching a search for ships thought to have been sunk in 1526.
The legend goes something like this: after the disastrous Battle of Mohács in 1526, the twenty-one-year-old Queen Mary of Hungary fled the encroaching Ottoman army on a caravan of ships headed to Vienna. But, on her way up the Danube a few ships sank along with their valuable cargo. It is said that to this day they remain hidden in the murky depths of the river.
Soon, any truth to this story may be discovered, or disproved.
According to inforadio.hu, a team of Hungarian archaeologists are launching an underwater excavation of the Danube to find ships identified by radar technology obtained with the assistance of an unidentified American foundation.
The investigation is bound to be interesting, says Attila J. Tóth, departmental leader of the Hungarian Alliance Archeology and History of Art (Magyar Régészeti és Művészettörténeti Társulat), but whether or not the remains of the submerged sunken ships actually belong to the Hapsburg Queen's caravan can only be determined with intensive scuba diving.
The team is serious in their quest, the portal reports, and plans to explore more than ten kilometers of the Danube.
So far, Hungarian divers have had successful underwater historical excavations. Previously they unearthed remains of ships, pile-dwellings and an underwater village. Perhaps the most interesting find was a fleet of 30 ships with copper vessels inside that dated to the Ottoman era in Hungary.
Exactly what treasures Queen Mary lost when her ships sunk was not reported. She was the wife of Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia, who was killed in battle, and while she arrived safely in Vienna, she never remarried nor renounced her ties to Hungary. She died in 1558 in what is now northern Spain.
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