Researchers Discover Oldest Known Deep-Sea Cargo Ship, Israel Antiquities Authority Reports

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Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) tweeted Thursday that a company found a cargo ship dating back 3,300 years deep at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea.

The ship still contained “hundreds of intact jars,” the IAA said in Hebrew, while sharing a photo of two of the preserved jars.

The IAA said that the discovery overturned the belief that Late Bronze Age seafarers could not navigate their ship without sight of the shore, The Times of Israel reported.

“Only two other shipwrecks with cargo are known from the Late Bronze Age in the Mediterranean Sea … both found off the Turkish coast. Yet both of those shipwrecks were found relatively close to shore,” Jacob Sharvit, head of IAA, said, the outlet reported.

“The discovery of this boat now changes our entire understanding of ancient mariner abilities. It is the very first to be found at such a great distance with no line of sight to any landmass,” Sharvit added. (RELATED: REPORT: Former Coast Guard Pilot Discovers 155-Year-Old Shipwreck)

The ship was discovered as a result of natural gas company Energean’s standard survey of the Eastern Mediterranean floor in Israeli waters, the outlet reported. The survey discovered what appeared to be large piles of jars littering the seabed and led to the company alerting IAA about their finds, The Times of Israel reported.

“We are in ongoing contact with the Israel Antiquities Authority, and when we sent them the images it turned out to be a sensational discovery, far beyond what we could imagine,” Karnit Bahartan, environmental lead at Energean, said, the outlet noted.