A 3,000-year-old ship off the Israeli coast reveals how daring ancient sailors were A 3,000-year-old ship off the Israeli coast reveals how daring ancient sailors were

A 3,000-year-old ship off the Israeli coast reveals how daring ancient sailors were

A 3,000-year-old ship off the Israeli coast reveals how daring ancient sailors were

Israeli archaeologists have found the remains of the oldest shipwreck ever discovered in the region's deep waters, in the Mediterranean, containing hundreds of amazingly preserved wine jugs.

Experts say that the 40-foot-long ship, which was found at a depth of 1.8 km on the seabed 90 km from the northern Israeli coast, dates back 3,300 years, that is, to the late Bronze Age.

It is believed to be the oldest ship found at this depth in the Mediterranean Sea, as previous shipwrecks from this era did not stray this far from land.

This suggests that ancient sailors were more capable of navigating the deep sea than historians previously thought.

The discoverers also believe that the ship likely sank either due to a storm or after being attacked by pirates.

Jacob Sharvit, head of the marine unit at the Israel Antiquities Authority , described the discovery as a "global discovery that changes history."

The ship itself remains underwater, at least for now, but marine technicians were able to extract the jugs it was loaded with "with minimal risk of damage to the entire assembly."

The jugs are “ampora,” a style of storage jar typical of the Old World with a large oval body, a long cylindrical neck, and two handles, used to carry oil, wine, and fruit.

According to experts, it was only possible to see part of the "amphores", as they appeared to be stacked in several layers. The rest, along with ship fragments that could have been 12 to 14 meters long, were buried under the mud.

Currently, experts have studied two of these excavated amphorae.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority said that the two amforts belong to the Canaanite civilization that settled the lands bordering the eastern Mediterranean.

The fact that the ship was so far from the coast suggests that the navigational abilities of ancient sailors were more advanced than previously thought.

They could cross the Mediterranean Sea without "line of sight" to any coast, rather than remaining close to land where they could return home more easily.

“From this geographical point, only the horizon can be seen everywhere,” Charvet said. “To navigate, they probably used celestial bodies, by taking the views and angles of the sun and the positions of the stars.”

Two similar ships from the same era were previously discovered in the Mediterranean, but only near the shore.

The "groundbreaking discovery" was unexpectedly made last year by Energean, a natural gas exploration company based in London, during routine surveys of the seabed using robots, but only now have experts revealed the results.

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