Sometimes, storms on the low-lying shores of the eastern Mediterranean Sea can cause remnants of ancient civilizations to resurface from the bottom of the sea. This was what happened in front of the Maagan Michael community, in Israelwhere two amateur divers found the remains of a shipwreck.
The divers saw a piece of wood protruding from the sandy bottom and notified the authorities of Israel. The archaeologists of the Hebrew country, then, began the underwater excavations. With the help of vacuum cleaners prepared for the task and absolute meticulousness, they managed to unearth most of the skeleton of a large ship that was 25 meters long and 5 meters high.
Deborah Cvikel, a nautical archaeologist at the University of Haifa (north of Israel) and director of the excavation, indicated that this is the largest shipwreck he has investigated so far. However, it was not only its size that drew attention, but also the period in which it sank (sometime between the 7th and 8th centuries AD).
The ship that defies official history
In that period, the territory of present-day Israel was at a key moment in its history: when the Byzantine Empire lost control of the land to the Muslims.
“History books usually tell us that at that time trade practically stopped, that there was no international trade in the Mediterranean and that we had mainly small ships. sailing along the coast,” Cvikel said.
The researcher of Israel He explained that the large shipwreck found contradicts those theories, not only because it is a ship of considerable size, but also because it was transporting cargo from all over the Mediterranean.
Source: (SER Chain)
More than 200 amphorae were found containing ingredients typical of the Mediterranean diet, such as fish sauce and a wide variety of olives, dates and figs.
The artifacts found also show that the ship had docked in Cyprus, Egypt and perhaps even in Turkey and the North African coast before sinking off the coast of the eastern end of the Mediterranean. On the other hand, part of the cargo had Christian symbols from the Byzantine church, while other goods had writings in Arabic.