The Roman shipwreck from Caesarea

Underwater Archaeology. In 1976, a survey team of divers from the AURI discovered the frames of a large vessel in the northern anchorage of Caesarea at a depth of 2.5 m. In 1983, the CMS headed by A. Raban excavated the wreck in collaboration with the University of Maryland, the University of Colorado and the University of Victoria. The excavations revealed a ship's hull of more than 40 m long, of which a third of the original wooden construction of frames and strakes has survived. The hull is made of 8 cm thick strakes connected by mortises and tennons in the "shell first" technique. The frames, built from planks of conifer wood 16 cm thick, were closely placed (9 cm between frames). This construction is the most massive yet found for a sailing vessel from the Roman period. The wreck was dated by C14 to the end of the 1st century BC. Many pieces of the lead sheathing were scattered around the wreck. Prominent among the ceramic remains are large pithoi of a type known as dolia "" a fixed storage containers that held such staples as grain, salt or other bulk cargo. Four bronze balance bars that might have been used to weigh cargo were also found. The type of wood and the method of construction used are similar to those, characteristic of northwestern Italy and southern France. It is possible that the ship carried building material (such as volcanic tuffa) for the Herodian harbor of Sebastos [Israel Antiquities Authority]

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