Sunday, November 19, 2017

More on the Good Ship Ma’agan Michael II

REPLICA UPDATE: Sailing a 2,400-year-old Ship That Sank Off Israel's Coast. Over many centuries, hundreds of ships sank along what is now the coast of Israel. Report from a cruise on a replica of the oldest found so far (Moshe Gilad, Haaretz).
Sunk on its maiden voyage

The ancient ship was discovered in 1985. It lay 70 meters from the shore, its bow pointing landward, at a depth of about two meters, under a layer of sand of similar thickness. Dr. Elisha Linder, a marine archaeologist from the University of Haifa, was in charge of researching the unique find. The quantity of wood used in the ship’s construction, and its quality, together with the precise dating, reflected the ship’s importance. Its one-armed anchor was the first of its type to be found whole. It took a full 15 years for the vessel to be lifted out of the water, dismantled, preserved and reassembled. It’s now a fine exhibit in the Hecht Museum at the University of Haifa. The findings on display, which constitute about a third of the original ship, were the foundation for the construction of the replica.

In the past three years, Prof. Yaacov Kahanov of Haifa University’s Department of Maritime Civilizations, a world expert in the study of ancient ships, led the initiative to build the replica. The resulting full-scale ship, constructed using methods that were in use in the Mediterranean around 400 BCE, is faithful to the original. Kahanov passed away just before the work was completed.
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The excavators think the ship was likely crewed by Greeks rather than Phoenicians. Background to the story is here and here.

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