Friday, June 21, 2024

Oldest deep-sea shipwreck found off coast of Israel

MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY: Energy Company Finds Earliest Deep-sea Shipwreck in the World, and It's Canaanite. While scanning the seabed ahead of developing Israel's Orca natural gas field , Energean observed an anomaly that would change our understanding of ancient navigation skills (Ruth Schuster, Haaretz).
An energy company surveying the Mediterranean seafloor has discovered the earliest shipwreck ever found in the deep sea anywhere in the world: a Canaanite merchant vessel that sank 3,400 to 3,300 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority revealed on Thursday. Moreover, it designed and sent down a specially kitted robot to retrieve samples.


There's more on the Canaanite provenance, but briefly:
With the pots in hand, it turned out his identification from the initial pictures was correct. They were standard Canaanite jars common in Late Bronze Age Israel, Syria and Lebanon. That doesn't prove the crew was Canaanite, but the cargo sure was.
Question: does "Canaanite" here include Phoenician (i.e., from Lebanon), or is the material culture specific to the Land of Canaan?

The excavation involves cool use of a robot 🤖. I do like robots in the right context.

For more on ancient shipwrecks, see here and many related links. Run "shipwreck" through the search engine for specifics.

Cross-file under Maritime (Underwater) Archaeology.

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