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A ship that sunk 3.7 thousand years ago was found in the Mediterranean Sea

A ship that sunk 3.7 thousand years ago was found in the Mediterranean Sea

Photo: nytimes.com

Scientists managed to lift from the bottom of the jars for storage honey, olive oil and resin from the Pistachio Atlantic tree.

Fragments of the world’s oldest shipwreck have been discovered in the Mediterranean Sea. According to the Israel Antiquities Authority, it was a merchant ship that sunk between 1400-1300 BC. e. at a depth of 1600 m, reports The New York Times.

It was noted that the ship sank to the bottom without capsizing, and hundreds of jars, known as Canaanite amphorae, in its hold remained almost untouched.

The ship was discovered during a survey conducted by natural gas exploration company Energean. Energean’s manned vehicle video captured what appeared to be a large pile of jugs on the seabed.

The images were then sent to the Antiquities Authority, which identified them as storage jars from the Late Bronze Age. These containers are intended for the storage of honey, olives and resin from the Pistachio Atlantic tree. This resin was used as a preservative in wine, and in Egypt – as a perfume and varnish for funeral utensils of the New Kingdom period.

Then, with the help of a robot, it is possible to remove the artifacts from below with minimal risk of damage.

“The ship has been preserved at such a depth that time has stopped since the disaster. The ship itself and its cargo were not affected by the waves and currents that affect shipwrecks in shallow water,” said Jacob Sharvit, director of the maritime archeology department of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

He added that there was silt in the raised containers, but analysis of trace elements would determine what was in them at the time of the shipwreck.

The publication noted that most of what scientists know so far about trade in the Late Bronze Age is based on two shipwrecks found in southern Turkey – the first at Cape Gelidonya in 1960, and the second at Uluburun in 1984. Based on the findings this, scientists hypothesized that trade routes ran as close to land as could be seen from a ship.

“The discovery of this ship completely changes our understanding of the navigational skills of ancient sailors. It is the first ship discovered at such a distance, without a direct view of land from this point, only the reach -view is what is seen,” commented Sharvit.

He suggested that, lacking compasses, astrolabes and sextants, sailors in the 14th century BC probably relied on celestial navigation to measure the angles of the sun and the positions of the stars.

It was previously reported that 5,000-year-old wine jugs were found in Egypt. The remains of their wine were carefully preserved.

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Source: korrespondent

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