Jacob Sharvit, Israel Antiquities Authority's marine unit (left), with Dr Karnit Bahartan, environmental lead at Energean,it with the ancient jars

World's oldest shipwreck discovered off Israel's coast

The shipwreck was found at a depth of 1800 meters, some 90km from shore, during a survey by a natural gas company, Energean. The wreck is believed to date from a period known for significant cultural and trade exchanges across the region. Artefacts recovered from the site include pottery, weapons, and tools, suggesting that the ship was part of extensive trade routes connecting ancient civilizations across the Middle East, Egypt, and possibly even further afield.

Ancient shipwreck reveals a lost age of Mediterranean trade

According to the archaeologists, despite the religious tensions in the area, the shipwreck demonstrates that commerce was still thriving since it carried products from all over the Mediterranean, including Cyprus, Egypt, Turkey, and the coast of North Africa.

It was around the time the largely Christian Byzantine Empire was in decline and had begun losing its grip on this eastern Mediterranean region while Islamic rule was extending its reach.

Divers discover 1,600-year-old Roman shipwreck

The treasures were first spotted in late Apri by divers Ran Feinstein and Ofer Raanan but it took an underwater survey conducted in recent weeks to reveal the extent of the find.

As soon as they emerged from the water divers Ran Feinstein and Ofer Ra‘anan of Ra‘anana contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority and reported the discovery and removal of several ancient items from the sea.

Jordan and Israel reach agreement on restoring Dead Sea

The Dead Sea has been found to be receding at a rate of more than 3.3 feet (1 meter) every year.

The idea of linking the two bodies of water has been around for more than a century. The project began to move ahead two years ago after the World Bank determined it is possible to use the Red Sea to replenish the shrinking Dead Sea after years of studying whether such a connecting lifeline could work.

The desalination plant will produce at least 80 million cubic meters annually. Israel will buy at a cost up to 40 million cubic meters. The rest will go to Aqaba.

The largest hoard of gold coins found in Israel was discovered in the seabed of a harbour in the Mediterranean Sea port of Caesarea National Park.

Thousands of gold coins found in Caesarea's ancient port

Using a metal detector, the Marine Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority's divers found gold coins in different denominations: a dinar, half dinar and quarter dinar, of various dimensions and weight.

Kobi Sharvit, director of the Marine Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority said that “the winter storms expose treasures from the sea.”

Israel: Journey Beyond the Three Seas

On my first flight to Israel, I stretched out in a comfortable chair on EL AL Airlines, enjoyed a kosher meal and reread notes by the famous Russian traveller and pioneer explorer, Afanasiy Nikitin (circa 1466-1472). Only on the approach to Tel Aviv did I suddenly realize how small a country Israel was, and that it bordered three seas.

Diving the Dead Sea

Having dived in plenty of spots around the world, I am always on the lookout for an unusual destination with unusual dives. It goes without saying that diving in the Dead Sea is not commonly found on the list of classic dives, and that’s what attracted me to it. The inland sea is located 425 meters below sea level. It is the deepest place on Earth.