Study firms up date of famous ancient shipwreck off Cyprus

by | Jun 27, 2024 | Science

By Will DunhamWASHINGTON (Reuters) – When scientists in the 1960s excavated the wreck of an ancient Greek merchant ship off the northern coast of Cyprus, what they found was an amazing time capsule from a pivotal period in the Mediterranean world following the death of Alexander the Great.But determining the date of the Kyrenia shipwreck with any sort of precision has proven difficult, and some previous scientific dating yielded conclusions that conflicted with the archeological evidence. Researchers have now calculated this timeline with new precision using improved techniques that they said can be applied to date other ancient shipwrecks as well.By analyzing organic material from the wreck, including the vessel’s wooden timbers, almonds from its cargo, and a gaming piece called an astragalus made from animal bone and used like dice, they concluded that the ship went down around 280 BC. That is a bit later than prior scientific dating estimates but a better match for the archeological evidence.Sturt Manning, a Cornell University professor of classical archaeology, called the Kyrenia vessel an “iconic ship from the early Hellenistic period, central to the history of ancient maritime technology.”The ship, about 46 feet (14 meters) long, was built of wood with lead sheathing, with one mast bearing a squ …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nnBy Will DunhamWASHINGTON (Reuters) – When scientists in the 1960s excavated the wreck of an ancient Greek merchant ship off the northern coast of Cyprus, what they found was an amazing time capsule from a pivotal period in the Mediterranean world following the death of Alexander the Great.But determining the date of the Kyrenia shipwreck with any sort of precision has proven difficult, and some previous scientific dating yielded conclusions that conflicted with the archeological evidence. Researchers have now calculated this timeline with new precision using improved techniques that they said can be applied to date other ancient shipwrecks as well.By analyzing organic material from the wreck, including the vessel’s wooden timbers, almonds from its cargo, and a gaming piece called an astragalus made from animal bone and used like dice, they concluded that the ship went down around 280 BC. That is a bit later than prior scientific dating estimates but a better match for the archeological evidence.Sturt Manning, a Cornell University professor of classical archaeology, called the Kyrenia vessel an “iconic ship from the early Hellenistic period, central to the history of ancient maritime technology.”The ship, about 46 feet (14 meters) long, was built of wood with lead sheathing, with one mast bearing a squ …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
Share This