Two ancient shipwrecks with an ancient and spectacular treasure were unearthed in Caesarea

Spectacular items wrecked from two ships that shattered off the coast of Caesarea in the Roman and Mamluk periods (about 1700 years ago and about 600 years ago) were revealed in an underwater survey conducted by the Marine Archeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority in recent months. The shiploads of the ships and the remains of their fragments were found scattered in shallow water, at a depth of about four meters, over an area of ​​several tens of meters.

Treasure of coins from the Mamluk period with cut coins. Photo: Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority

According to Yaakov Sharvit and Dror Flanner, researchers at the Marine Archeology Unit at the Israel Antiquities Authority, "The ships seemed to be moored nearby, and a storm that occurred caused them to sink. It is possible that the mooring was done out of distress or fear of a storm, because the seafarers know that mooring in the shallow water that is not in a built and tidy port, is dangerous and prone to disaster."

Treasure of coins from the Roman period. Photo: Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority

The naval treasure includes hundreds of silver coins (about 560 coins, of which about 160 are cut coins) from the Mamluk period and hundreds of silver and bronze coins from the Roman period, a bronze figurine (figurine) in the shape of an eagle – a symbol of Roman rule, a statue of a pantomime actor in a mask from the Roman comedy Bronze designed, among other things, to ward off evil spirits, and pottery. In addition, many metal parts belonging to the body of a wooden ship were discovered, including dozens of large bronze nails, lead pipes belonging to a pond water pump, and a large anchor made of iron, which broke – indicating the great force that acted on it until it broke, apparently, in a storm.

The gold ring as found in the water. Photo: The Marine Archeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Rare personal items of people who were on them but did not survive were also wrecked from the ships. Among other things, a red gemstone was unveiled, intended for placement in a ring (gamma), on which he carved a musical instrument known by various names – the most prominent of which is the pound, and in the Jewish tradition – the violin of David. According to the book of Samuel 9"ז כ"King David played to ask the king with the violin of David (and there was, when the Spirit of God was on Saul, and David took the violin, and he played with his hand;"). In an accepted study, the same violin mentioned in Tan"V, is, in fact, the pound, known in Greek mythology as"Apollo pound". According to this story, Hermes built the musical instrument – the pound, from a tortoise shell, on the morning he was born. In exchange for this instrument, Apollo, who was a music lover, agreed to make Hermes and his mother gods.

A gold ring with a gamma and the figure of the good shepherd. Photo: Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority

Another important item is a thick gold ring, designed in an octagonal shape and set with a green gemstone, on which was carved the figure of a young boy, "shepherd" Dressed in a tunic, he carried a ram or a sheep on his shoulders. This image, of the ‘good shepherd’, is recognized in early Christian art as a symbol of Jesus; This is a parable of Jesus as the compassionate shepherd of men, or as one who spreads patronage over man or his congregation of believers. Interestingly, the unique gold ring, which bears the figure of the shepherd

A gem that bears the figure of the good shepherd. Photo: Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority

The good, was revealed in the vicinity of the city of Caesarea, which is of great significance in the Christian tradition. One of the earliest Christian centers was formed in Caesarea, where one of the first Christian communities operated. At first, this community included only Jews. According to the New Testament, in Caesarea the apostle Peter baptized the Roman centurion Cornelius. "This is the first case in which a non-Jewish person has been brought under the wings of Christianity", Says Sharvit. "Here, the Christian religion began its journey around the world". It is estimated that the owner of the ring that was exposed was one of the first Christians.

The head of the Marine Archeology Unit at the Israel Antiquities Authority, Yaakov Sharvit, holds a bell found at sea. Photo: Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority

According to Eli Escozido, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, "The shores of the Land of Israel are rich in antiquities and finds, which are of great importance as national and international heritage cultural assets. These are exposed to dangers, which is why the Israel Antiquities Authority conducts underwater surveys to locate, monitor and rescue antiquities. Many sports activities take place along the shores of Israel – diving, snorkeling, open sea swimming and boating, during which antiquities are discovered from time to time. We turn to the divers and ask – if you come across an antique, take a location in the sea, leave the findings in the water and report back to us immediately. The discovery and documentation of the finds at their site is of great archaeological importance, and sometimes even a small find leads to a large discovery."

Nails from the hulls of the wrecked ships. Photo: Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority
Bells are made of bronze designed, among other things, to ward off evil spirits. Photo: Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority
Bronze figurines from the cargo of ships. Photo: Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority
Bronze figurines from the cargo of ships. Photo: Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority
Caesarea Port – Aerial View. Photo: Yaakov Shmidov, Israel Antiquities Authority

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *