Byzantine treasure found off Israeli coast

A ship anchor dating back to the 4th or 5th century has been found off the coast of Bat Yam, reported Israel’s Antiquities Aurthority. Photo courtesy of Israel’s Antiquities Authority Archaeologist Jacob Sharvit, who heads the marine archaeology branch of …

A ship anchor dating back to the 4th or 5th century has been found off the coast of Bat Yam, reported Israel’s Antiquities Aurthority.

Byzantine anchor

Photo courtesy of Israel’s Antiquities Authority

Archaeologist Jacob Sharvit, who heads the marine archaeology branch of Israel’s Antiquities Authority, said the find is especially valuable as it verifies the vibrant sea trade of the Byzantine era to ports along the coast and across the Mediterranean.

The iron anchor – measuring 2.1 meters and weighing 300 kilogram – was pulled out of the Mediterranean Sea by Israeli lifeguards on a beach in Bat Yam, near Tel Aviv. Sharvit says the anchor was likely that of a Byzantine ship that crashed and sank in a storm about 1,700 years ago.

An Israeli archaeologist team is set to dive at the site to search for more treasure. Sharvit says they expect to find ancient jugs and more anchors.

The Israeli coastline has had its fair share of shipwrecked finds. Sharvit says the collection of artifacts found on the ocean floor tell the story of the seafaring routes in history.

Earlier this year, the Israeli government kicked off an initiative to create public parks through archaeological sites of interest along the country’s treasure rich coastline.

Sharvit called the latest find “impressive” and said the anchor might even be proof a previously unknown ancient harbor on the coast.

About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.