Sunken Treasure: Egyptian Artifact Find Is Largest Nautical Collection From the Ancient World
2013 04 05

From: PastHorizon



Research sheds light on ancient Egyptian port and ship graveyard

New research into Thonis-Heracleion, a sunken port-city that served as the gateway to Egypt in the first millennium BC, was examined at a recent international conference at the University of Oxford. The port city, situated 6.5 kilometres off today’s coastline, was one of the biggest commercial hubs in the Mediterranean before the founding of Alexandria.

The Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology at the University of Oxford is collaborating on the project with the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology (IEASM) in cooperation with Egypt’s Ministry of State for Antiquities.

Port of entry

This obligatory port of entry, known as ‘Thonis’ by the Egyptians and ‘Heracleion’ by the Greeks, was where seagoing ships are thought to have unloaded their cargoes to have them assessed by temple officials and taxes extracted before transferring them to Egyptian ships that went upriver. In the ports of the city, divers and researchers are currently examining 64 Egyptian ships, dating between the eighth and second centuries BC, many of which appear to have been deliberately sunk. Researchers say the ships were found beautifully preserved, in the mud of the sea-bed. With 700 examples of different types of ancient anchor, the researchers believe this represents the largest nautical collection from the ancient world.


“The survey has revealed an enormous submerged landscape with the remains of at least two major ancient settlements within a part of the Nile delta that was criss-crossed with natural and artificial waterways,” said Dr Damian Robinson, Director of the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology at the University of Oxford. Dr Robinson, who is overseeing the excavation of one of the submerged ships known as Ship 43, has discovered that the Egyptians had a unique shipbuilding style. He is also examining why the boats appear to have been deliberately sunk close to the port.

Several ship graveyards

“One of the key questions is why several ship graveyards were created about one mile from the mouth of the River Nile. Ship 43 appears to be part of a large cluster of at least ten other vessels in a large ship graveyard,” explained Dr Robinson. “This might not have been simple abandonment, but a means of blocking enemy ships from gaining entrance to the port-city. Seductive as this interpretation is, however, we must also consider whether these boats were sunk simply to use them for land reclamation purposes.”

Maritime trade in the ancient world

The port and its harbour basins also contain a collection of customs decrees, trading weights, and evidence of coin production. The material culture, for example, coin weights, was also discussed at the conference, placing this into the wider narrative of how maritime trade worked in the ancient world.

[...]

Read the full article at: pasthorizonspr.com




Related Articles
Sunken continent discovered at the bottom of the Indian Ocean
Drought in Poland reveals 400-year-old sunken treasures
U.S. drought reveals famous sunken ship
Surprising Sunken Islands Discovered Near Australia
Divers Explore Sunken Ruins Of Cleopatra’s Palace
Return to Antikythera: Divers revisit wreck where ancient computer found
Antikythera treasures: richest haul of objects ever found from the ancient world
The Forgotten Underworld of Japan - Mysterious Underwater Ruins
Red Ice Radio: Peter Lindberg - The Mysterious Baltic Sea Object
Osiris Shaft Tomb - Underwater - Underground Tunnels
Stone ships show signs of maritime network in Baltic Sea region 3,000 years ago
Whitley Strieber says object found in Baltic Sea may be older than Gobekli Tepe


Latest News from our Front Page

Norway Joins the Race to Develop Killer Robots
2014 10 24
Norway is a large exporter of weapons, which makes the resolution of the debate about creating killer robots an important issue for everyone.  One could debate the overall merits or failings of robotic systems, but an area that clearly has become a point for concern on all sides is the emergence of "killer robots." According to robotics pioneer, David Hanson, ...
Gene That Once Aided Survival in the Arctic Found to Have Negative Impact on Health Today
2014 10 23
In individuals living in the Arctic, researchers have discovered a gene variant that arose thousands of years ago and most likely provided an evolutionary advantage for processing high-fat diets or for surviving in a cold environment; however, the variant also seems to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and infant mortality in today’s northern populations. {snip} “Our work ...
The Ebola hoax: questions, answers, and the false belief in the “One It”
2014 10 23
“The Reality Manufacturing Company doesn’t just sell ‘fake paintings’ that are easy to spot. No. They also sell images that are geared to mesh with people’s deeply held instincts and thereby produce rigid false beliefs. People are sure that if they gave up such beliefs, their world would fall apart and blow away in the wind.” ...
New Controversial Theory Suggests "Hobbits" Were Not Human - Who Were These Mysterious Beings?
2014 10 23
The origin of the Hobbit species remains a challenging subject to scientists. The Hobbit’s discovery confirmed the view that the Earth was once populated by many species of human, but new research the Hobbit’s were not human at all! So, who were these mysterious beings? Where did they come from? The idea that our species, Homo sapiens, was the only species of human on ...
Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
More News »