Saturday, 25 October 2014

Amazing Shipwrecks


A bronze sword is among the artifacts. The 18-inch-long (45-centimeter) sword is of a style dated to between 950 and 850 B.C.
The Salcombe Wreck. Between 1200 and 900 B.C., a ship sank off the coast of Devon in England. Divers have so far uncovered 300 artifacts that weigh over 185 lbs combined, including copper and tin ingots (used to make bronze), weapons, and several pieces of jewelry. The wreck is significant because of its age and because the artifacts have proven that a trade network existed during the Bronze Age.
Golden adornments called torques which date to between 1300 and 1100 B.C.
The Belitung Shipwreck. The Belitung shipwreck was the first Arabian ship to be discovered and excavated. Found off the coast of Indonesia in 1998, it has yielded the richest and largest assortment of early ninth century Tang Dynasty gold and ceramic artifacts ever found–bowls, spice jars, inkwells, funeral urns, crystals, and gilt-silver boxes. Items included pearls from the Gulf, rubies and sapphires, a gold cup, and a silver flask.
The Antikythera Treasures. In 1900, divers discovered an ancient shipwreck just off the island of Antikythera. Another expedition in 1976 recovered the most significant part of the cargo. The massive haul of artifacts from the wreck included the Antikythera mechanism.

Coins and jewelry, glassware, pottery, statues, and even copper couch beds were found. One statue is a classical bronze statue made sometime from 340 to 330 B.C. named Statue of a Youth.
The Bom Jesus. The Bom Jesus was a Portuguese ship which sailed in 1533 and disappeared off the coast of West Africa. Geologists working for De Beers discovered the shipwreck buried in the beach. After uncovering several copper ingots, the mining operation was stopped and archaeologists were called in. It is the oldest shipwreck ever to be found off Africa’s coast and contained more than 22 tons of copper ingots, 6 cannons, swords, thousands of gold coins traced back to King João III, and more than 50 elephant tusks.
The Ghost Ship was accidentally discovered in 2003 by a crew searching for a Swedish plane shot down in WWII on the Baltic Sea. A full-scale expedition was launched in 2010, and researchers were able to confirm that the ship was built around 1650.

It is believed to be a type of Dutch ship known as a fluyt (a sailing cargo ship). The waters of the Baltic Sea have almost no tidal movement and the low salinity means shipworms are not able to inhabit it. That’s why the Baltic houses some of the most ancient and well-preserved vessels in the world.
The Vasa. The most exquisite shipwreck ever to be found in the Baltic Sea was the Swedish royal warship, the Vasa. Built between 1626 and 1628, it sank on its maiden voyage, less than a nautical mile from the harbor.

During a recovery operation in 1961, thousands of artifacts and human remains were removed. The wreck was so well-preserved that the smallest details could still be discerned on its artwork. It took more than eighteen months and 1,300 dives to salvage the Vasa. The Vasa museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sweden.