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rowanlim
14-08-08, 14:23
I think this is an interesting bit of news, especially for those who are into marine archeology...

An ancient Greek ship recently raised off the coast of southern Sicily, Italy, is the biggest and best maintained vessel of its kind ever found, archaeologists say.

At a length of nearly 70 feet (21 meters) and a width of 21 feet (6.5 meters), the 2,500-year-old craft is the largest recovered ship built in a manner first depicted in Homer's Iliad, which is believed to date back several centuries earlier.

The ship's outer shell was built first, and the inner framework was added later. The wooden planks of the hull were sewn together with ropes, with pitch and resin used as sealant to keep out water.

Carlo Beltrame, professor of marine archaeology at the Università Ca' Foscari in Venice, said the boat, found near the town of Gela, is among the most important finds in the Mediterranean Sea.

"Greek sewn boats have been found in Italy, France, Spain, and Turkey. Gela's wreck is the most recent and the best preserved," Beltrame said.

After 25 Centuries

The Italian Coast Guard helped archaeologists pull the wreck to the surface last month.

A floating crane lifted the main segment, a 36-foot (11-meter) chunk, and dragged it to land. The remains were then plunged into a tank of fresh water to remove the salt from the wood.

"The vessel was a mercantile sailer, probably used to sail short stretches along the coast, docking frequently to load and unload," said Rosalba Panvini, head of the Cultural Heritage Department of Sicily, who directed the raising operations.

Recovered artifacts—including cups, two-handled jars called amphoras, oil lamps, pottery, and fragments of straw baskets—reveal details of the ship's journey before it sank, Panvini said.

"The vessel stopped in Athens, then in the Peloponnese Peninsula," Panvini said. "It sailed up the western coast of Greece, crossed the Otranto Channel, coasted along Italy, and pointed to Sicily."

The ship was headed for Gela, then a Greek colony. About a half mile (800 meters) off the coast, a storm probably tilted the ship. The ballast broke the hull, and the vessel went down, where it lay on the muddy seabed for 25 centuries.

In 1988 two scuba divers discovered the remains and informed the Sicilian Cultural Heritage Department.

It took 20 years to recover the whole vessel, which will now be sent to Portsmouth, U.K., to be restored before it returns to Gela. Officials hope to display the restored ship in a planned new sea museum.

A Sewn Boat

Beltrame, of the Università Ca' Foscari, said the ship—"part of a family of archaic Greek vessels"—is something of a missing link in the evolution of naval engineering.

"It shows a mix of sewing and mortise-and-tenon joints—a different technique that later prevailed in shipbuilding," Beltrame said, referring to joints in which a protrusion in one piece of wood inserts into a cavity in another.

Roberto Petriaggi of the Italian Central Institute for Restoration said Greeks were not the only people in the region to build ships using the sewing method.

"Technical knowledge spread easily around the Mediterranean Basin," he said. "We have finds proving that Egyptians and Phoenician-Punic people used that method, too."

Source (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/08/080811-greek-ship.html)

Image of the ship:
http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd164/rowanlim/080811-greek-ship_big.jpg

Doesn't it remind you of the Mediterranean underwater levels from TRU? :D

patriots88888
14-08-08, 14:28
Yes it does remind me of the Med level in Underworld. :D

Fascinating article. Thanks for posting Jo. :tmb: :)

mmm...cookies
14-08-08, 14:40
THX such a great find.

TombRaiderCool
14-08-08, 14:47
Thank you for this, you should be a reporter of something, all this news you are giving us. :tmb:

rickybazire
14-08-08, 14:58
Wow! That musta been quite a discovery. :cln:

Shrantellatessa
14-08-08, 15:15
Nice discovery :yik: Thanks Jo :)

Tthe Spirit
14-08-08, 15:21
Fantastic discovery...
This makes a huge fortune

Kiss-Bite
14-08-08, 16:43
Very interesting, thanks.;)

Lara Croft!
14-08-08, 17:33
Thanks for sharing.....


OY!!!! That's my great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great gr great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandfather's ship!!!!!! Give it back!!!!

:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

xXhayleyroxXx
14-08-08, 17:59
wow yeah it does remind me on the underwater levels on underworld :ton:

Tomb Raider Master
14-08-08, 18:00
Awesome. :tmb: Thanks for posting.

Nemo_91
14-08-08, 18:20
That's amazing :tmb: Thanks for sharing.

Candee Sparks
14-08-08, 18:25
Wow, that IS interesting. :tmb:

Drone
14-08-08, 18:44
wow it's cool!