Shipwreck from the Early Islamic Period discovered off Israeli coast

Jan 23, 2007
Shipwreck from the Early Islamic Period discovered off Israeli coast
Underwater excavations at Dor Beach. Credit: University of Haifa

An 8th century shipwreck was discovered off Dor Beach and excavated by researchers from the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies of the University of Haifa. It is believed to be the only boat from this period discovered in the entire Mediterranean region. "We do not have any other historical or archaeological evidence of the economic activity and commerce of this period at Dor.

The shipwreck will serve as a source of information about the social and economic activities in this area," said Dr. Ya'acov Kahanov from the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies and the Department Of Maritime Civilizations at the University of Haifa.

The wreck itself was found almost a decade ago during a joint survey of the area conducted by an expedition of the Institute for Maritime Archaeology from the University of Texas A & M and the Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies at the University of Haifa. Using carbon dating techniques, the wreck was dated as from the early 8th century. Only now, after the completion of the latest excavation season, are the details of the1,300 year old shipwreck becoming clearer.

The small boat, 15 meters long and 5 meters wide, was involved in local commerce and sailed along the Lavant coast between the ports on the Mediterranean Sea. It was found in a lagoon off Dor Beach, 0.75 meters beneath the surface of the water. Dr. Kahanov explained that this ship is a rare find given the amount of wood that has remained intact and in a good state of preservation. In addition to the wooden hull of the boat, many of the boat's contents have also been preserved. Among them are 30 vessels of pottery of different sizes and designs containing fish bones, ropes, mats, a bone needle, a wooden spoon, wood carvings and food remains, mainly carobs and olives.

Dr. Kahanov stressed the importance of this find owing to the fact that there are so few archaeological finds from the ancient Islamic Period in this area.

Source: University of Haifa

Explore further: Graeco-Roman papyrus memoirs reveal ancient Egyptian treatment for hangover

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Deciphering the demise of Neandertals

Apr 24, 2015

Researchers from the University of Bologna, Italy, and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, analysed two deciduous teeth from the prehistoric sites of Grotta di Fumane ...

Human ancestors had tentacles

Apr 23, 2015

The famous Vitruvian Man drawn by Leonardo da Vinci pictures the canon of human proportions. However, humans didn't become bilaterally symmetric suddenly. There are two main points of view on the last common ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.