3,300-year-old ship and its cargo discovered deep in Mediterranean

A company drilling for natural gas off the coast of northern occupied territories in Palestine unexpectedly discovered a 3,300-year-old ship and its cargo, one of the oldest known examples of a ship sailing far from land.

The ship, dating back to the late Bronze Age, was found far from shore, indicating that the navigation abilities of ancient seafarers were far more advanced than previously thought because they could travel without a line of sight to land, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has said.

Remarkably, the great depth at which the ship was found means it has been left undisturbed by waves, currents or fishermen over the millennia, offering greater potential for research.

The wooden ship sank about 90 kilometers (55 miles) off Palestine’s Mediterranean coast and was discovered at a depth of 1,800 meters (1.1 miles) by Energean, a natural gas company that operates a number of deep-sea natural gas fields in Palestine’s territorial waters.

About a year ago, it came across the 12 to 14-meter (39 to 45 foot) long ship buried under the muddy bottom, nestled under hundreds of jugs that were thousands of years old.

The boat and its cargo were fully intact, the IAA say, adding that the vessel appeared to have sunk either in a storm or after coming under attack by pirates.

The ship for now is not being retrieved, however Energean worked with the IAA to retrieve two of the jugs, which were likely used for carrying oil, wine or fruit, and brought them to the surface for research.

The IAA identified the jugs as Canaanite, a group of people who once lived along the eastern Mediterranean coast.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button