Israel Archaeologists at the Leon Recanati Institute of Marine Research at Haifa University explored the wreck of the 7th century from the city 47 km south.
The bow was revealed in the sand. Photo: Ancient Origins.
The ship is 23 meters long, lies under 3 meters of water and is buried by more than a ton of sand. According to the team, the exposed part of the hull consists of the keel, the pylons, framed wood, the hull, bulkhead and mast base. The ship was preserved almost intact, possibly due to inclusion in the sand.
“We are still not sure what caused the ship to sink, but we think it might be the positioning error,” said Deborah Cvikel, a member of the research team. As the ship sank near shore, no casualties were possible. Shipwrecks were very common in the Mediterranean region in ancient times.
Archaeologists found several inscriptions written in both Arabic and Greek on wood and pottery in the wreck. They also discovered Christian symbols such as crosses and Islamic symbols. “We don’t know whether the crew is Christian or Muslim, but we have seen traces of both religions,” Cvikel said. It is possible that the crew on board followed different religions, proving that in everyday life, the divide between Christianity and Islam at that time was not as strained as popular speculation.
Items on board include food and animal bones. The ship’s cargo consisted of more than 100 mounds for the transport of olive oil, wine or grain. The research team identified 6 types of urns, while two have never been recorded before. Based on the findings, researchers speculate that the ship stopped at Cyprus, Egypt and at seaports along Israel before sinking.
The wreck can help the team to better understand the evolution of ancient shipbuilding technology. The wreck is still being excavated, but research is interrupted by Covid-19. The archeological team hopes to be able to explore the captain’s cabin behind the ship. They also plan to take a closer look at the goods and other artifacts.
(According to Ancient Origins)