| 4 November 2004
Archaeologist hopes 3000-year-old wood is from ancient ship
An archaeologist's dog may have discovered the first ship ever found from the period of King David and his son, Solomon, who ruled the holy land 3, 000 ago. The remains, which have been carbon-dated to the ninth century BCE, include a huge stone anchor believed to be the largest ever unearthed. The wreckage is lying under a few inches of sand off the Mediterranean coast in shallow waters, and has yet to be examined extensively. If the remains are indeed 3,000 years old, it would be the first archaeological artifact ever found from the era of the first kings of Israel, with the possible exception of several huge stones at the base of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
The discovery was made by a dog, according to marine archaeologist Kurt Raveh. "My dog Petal led me to an enormous stone anchor -- the biggest in the world," said Raveh. "He was swimming, started to drown, and was suddenly standing above the water. We couldn't understand how, so we went to check what he was standing on, and out of the sands came an enormous stone anchor." Raveh, who has studied more than 200 stone anchors, said he discovered the huge anchor -- 8.2 feet long, almost 6.5 feet wide and 1.6 feet thick - during the summer near his home in Hof Dor, about 25 miles north of Tel Aviv (Israel).
The carbon-14 test from the Institute for Particle Physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich dated the wood between 997 and 806 BCE. Raveh and a team from nearby Haifa University led by Kahanov will try to uncover the vessel for the first time in three millennia. "Now we want to know if the wood is just beams or there is also a shipwreck from the time of King Solomon," Raveh said.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle; CDNN News (28 October 2004)
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