Ancient Mediterranean Shipwrecks

A number of ancient ‘shipwrecks’ have been found in the Mediterranean in recent decades with the use of side-scanning sonar, and a few at great depths have been investigated with deep-submergence vehicles.  The various wrecks are usually named after the nearest known land location.  In Israel, two wrecks off Gaza, one off Ashkelon; several off the south coast of Turkey, at Lycia, Cape Gelidonya, Seytan Deresi (Gulf of Gokova or Kerme) and Uluburun; two off the coast of Spain at Puerto de Mazarron and the deepest wreck (3000 ft.), called ‘Melkarth’ after the Phoenician god of sailors, is in the ‘western Mediterranean.’ See:
The following is an account of the two wrecks off Gaza:
Location of the two Phoenician ships of c. 750 B.C. that foundered 46km off Gaza with cargoes of wine in amphoras. The crew of the U.S. Navy deep submergence research submarine NR-1 discovered the sites in 1997 and in 1999 a team led by Robert Ballard and Harvard University archeology Professor Lawrence Stager investigated the wrecks. Dr. Ballard reported that one of the ships, the largest ancient ship ever discovered measuring 60 feet (18 meters long) was found 1625 feet (500 meters) under the Mediterranean. A smaller ship was found three kilometers away, measured forty-two feet (thirteen meters) in length. Ballard noted that the ships’ contents included many ceramic amphorae were originally filled with wine. Further, he suggested that they were on their way from the [Phoenician] port of Tyre to either Egypt or Tunisia when they sank in a violent storm.  The amphorae were found intact. Owing to the bitterly cold water temperature, the lack of sunlight, and intense pressure at such depths, the jars were well preserved and in pristine condition. Even though the wood of the vessels had disintegrated, the shape and length of the ships were deduced from the position of the amphorae. From the artifacts recovered — amphorae, crockery for food preparation, an incense stand for offerings to the weather gods, and a wine decanter — archaeologists were able to identify that the ship’s point of origin was Phoenicia.
As described above, most wrecks of such small open ships have been found intact, often with the contents (copper, amphorae containing wine or grain), in its original position relative to the frame of the boat, although the planking is usually gone. Dr. Ballard has  trouble explaining this, suggesting that perhaps the boats were sunk by a ‘rogue wave’ instead of a storm. This explanation does not make a great deal of sense because a great wave would, in all probability, overturn the boat spreading the contents over a wide area of the sea floor.
There are many facets of archaeology in the Middle East which are not at all understood because scientists, i.e. astrophysicists to archaeologists, are completely ignorant of the cyclic catastrophism which reigned on Earth for 3,000 years during the Bronze and Iron ages (4000 to 700 BC).  Priori-Mars approached and became captured in a geosynchronous orbit every 30 years over the Himalayas and after fifteen years was released into a planetary orbit for fifteen years.  Upon each approach its enormous tidal force drew the water of the Mediterranean, Red Sea, Black Sea, and  Caspian Sea smoothly and quickly across the land emptying these seas completely.  The water could not reach the Himalayas, but formed a stationary tidal bulge which covered the northern Indian continent to an altitude of 5,000 feet.  Evidence of this is found in the horizontally bedded Siwalik deposits in the Himalayan foothills, which contain the bones of many sea-level animals, such as Hippopotami.
The sudden emptying of the Mediterranean Sea resulted in all ancient boats at sea being lowered in a horizontal orientation to the bottom intact and stranded for the next fifteen years.  Moreover, the little salty water that remained on the bottom evaporated leaving evaporite deposits, i.e. types of salt that form in the last stages of evaporation.  When priori-Mars escaped its geosynchronous orbit fifteen years later the water returned only to be removed again at the next approach of priori-Mars.  As a result, a great number of ships suffered the same fate.  Since this happened every thirty years for 3,000 years, the salt deposits built upon one another, creating a thick evaporite layer, which is more than a kilometer thick in some basins.
This mysterious layer, first discovered in 1961, has been the subject of some forty meetings of scientists trying to determine the origin of what they call the ‘Messinian Salinity Crisis’ or MSC.  Many scientific conferences have dealt with this subject, as can be seen by ‘Googling’ the subject.
Uniformitarian science cannot imagine how the Mediterranean could be emptied and refilled in less than 100,000 years and even worse what geologic events could have repeatedly caused these events.  As a result, they estimate that these events took place over 5 million years ago and their ‘best guess’ is that these cycles were driven by the precession of the earth’s spin axis, which, theoretically, has a period of 25,000 years.  I say “theoretically” because the Earth has never completed even one such cycle since the recent cyclic catastrophism concluded, 2,700 years ago.  Undoubtedly, many more ancient shipwrecks are completely enclosed in the thick layer of salt and may never be discovered.
The thirty-year emptyings of the Mediterranean explain many other facets of Middle East archaeology.  For example, the reason all civilizations in the area built only on promontories, or tells was to avoid the resulting floods. Moreover, the tells had high thick walls on their tops surrounding the cities, to further protect from the flood waters.  Archaeologists believe that they were for defense against attacks from other tribes.  Indeed, the building and rebuilding on the tells by the first one-hundred generations of mankind is what has made archaeology possible in the Middle East, ensuring that digging straight down would reveal more and more ancient civilizations covering at least 3,000 years of ancient history.
These floods also explain the function of the Ziggurats in Mesopotamia and the pyramids in Egypt.  They were stationary ‘lifeboats’ up which the people could scramble when the sudden floods came.  The stable pyramid shape was adopted to counter the earthquakes that also accompanied the approach of priori-Mars.  The thirty-year flood period is reflected in the ancient Egyptian Heb-Sed Festival which dated from predynastic times, as emphasized by the ceremonies being held in special courtyards built at the most ancient Step Pyramid at Saqqara.
”There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy, Horatio.”

~ by Angiras on June 2, 2010.

2 Responses to “Ancient Mediterranean Shipwrecks”

  1. Here’s a Google map with hundreds of the most well known shipwrecks around the world mapped

  2. Extremely interesting information, John.
    (I remember watching dive boats in the South of France returning with many amphorae)
    Thanks for sharing.


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