1,600-Year-Old Shipwreck Discovered in Caesarea


Two divers discovered the spectacular remains of a Roman ship that sank 1,600 years ago in the ancient port of Caesarea, Israel.

Divers Ran Feinstein and Ofer Ra’anan immediately contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority after discovering the shipwrecked cargo in the Caesarea National Park.

An underwater salvage survey was later conducted revealing numerous artifacts from the merchant ship, such as a bronze lamp depicting the image of the sun god Sol, a figurine of the moon goddess Luna and a lamp in the form of the head of an African slave. One of the biggest surprises was the discovery of thousands of coins bearing the images of Constantine and Licinius, emperors during the Late Roman Period.

According to Jacob Sharvit, director of the Marine Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority and Dror Planer, deputy director, “A marine assemblage such as this has not been found in Israel in the past 30 years. Metal statues are rare archaeological finds because they were always melted down and recycled in antiquity… Because these statues were wrecked together with the ship, they sank in the water and were thus ‘saved’ from the recycling process.”