In the exhibition Face to Face a number of people emerge from the past. They all share the fact that they were aboard Vasa on the 10th August 1628, and followed it down to the deep.

We believe that about 30 men, women and children died in this catastrophe. The skeletons of at least 11 of these were found during excavations. Some were found outside the ship but have been dated by the radiocarbon method, and were most probably victims also. None of the victims were identified.

The exhibition Face to Face describes osteological and archaeological research, but also allows us the possibility of a 'fantasy meeting' with some of the individuals from the warship Vasa in a film, and through six facial reconstructions. The exhibition also includes a sound chamber where you can listen to fragments of citations from the time of Vasa, including material from the court-hearing records.

In connection with research on these skeletons each has been given a name in alphabetical order following the Swedish letter-naming system – Adam, Beata, Cesar, etc.

What we can say about Adam is that he was 35-40 years old, 165 cm tall and in good health, but that in his youth he had received a blow to the face. He was one of the first skeletons to be salvaged by divers in 1958.

The individual F, Filip, was probably a sailor who died at his post. He was c. 30 years old, 163 cm tall and had a set of teeth that gave him a special smile. He was found in the steering cabin where he was probably an oarsman. He was close to a safe exit at the time of the catastrophe, by a short ladder to the upper deck, but seems to have chosen to stay below. Perhaps he died trying to turn the ship so that she could stand upright again.

Ylva was identified in the beginning as a boy, but was in fact a 16 year old girl in poor health. Her skeleton shows several injuries and she was stooped and undernourished.


5. Face to face