Late Bronze-Age Metal Artifacts off Hahotrim, Israel

978-1-64843-212-5 Hardcover (Printed Case)
8.5 x 11 x 0 in
186 pp. 22 color, 67 b&w photos. 77 line art. 12 maps. 4 appendixes. Glossary. Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 07/15/2024
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During an inspection dive in 1980 along Israel’s Mediterranean coast off of Kibbutz Hahotrim, Shelley Wachsmann, then Inspector of Antiquities for the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums (now the Israel Antiquities Authority), discovered artifacts on a section of seabed swept clear of sand by a storm. Scattered around two large stone anchors, the finds consisted primarily of small, broken, or damaged pieces of metal artifacts and ingots.

Late Bronze-Age Metal Artifacts off Hahotrim, Israel comprises the careful analysis of the materials by Wachsmann and ten collaborators. Examination of the artifacts, along with the context in which they were found, suggests that—rather than being all that remains of an undiscovered ancient wreck—the artifacts may have found their way to the seabed as jetsam dumped overboard by a crew hoping to extricate their vessel from a sand bar or other obstruction.

As Wachsmann notes, the discovery and study of this humble group of artifacts provides evidence of a vibrant culture of maritime commerce that existed in the Late Bronze-Age Mediterranean world prior to its collapse. Positing the existence of a “dynamic international period when a system of land and sea trade routes stretched from Sardinia in the west to Iran in the east, spanning roughly a tenth of the earth’s circumference,” this careful analysis adds important context to our evolving understanding of the interconnectedness of the Mediterranean world at a pivotal moment in history.

Ed Rachal Foundation Nautical Archaeology Series

Published by Texas A&M University Press