Archaeologists have recently discovered a shipwreck off the coast of Israel, which is believed to be 1,200 years old. It is believed to be a merchant ship, that suggests trading continued after the Islamic co quest of the Holy Land, according to a report in Express.co.uk.
The shipwreck is dated to the 7th or 8th century AD. The Islamic republic, which had extended its dominance to the eastern Mediterranean area during this period, was trying to overwhelm the Christian Byzantine Empire.
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 is unique first because of its size...and because of its dating," Deborah Cvikel, a nautical archaeologist at the University of Haifa, was quoted as saying by the outlet. "The history books, they usually tell us that ... commerce almost stopped. There was no international commerce in the Mediterranean. We had mainly smaller vessels sailing along the coast doing cabotage," she added.
"Here we have a large shipwreck, which we think the original ship was around 25 metres (82 feet) long, and...laden with cargo from all over the Mediterranean," Ms Cvikel further said.
According to Express, the divers descended into the depths and recovered the astounding collection of artefacts from the ancient wreckage. They also claimed that this is the largest shipwreck they have discovered ever.
Additionally, they have found over 200 amphoras that still contained foods from the Mediterranean diet, including fish sauce, several types of olives, dates, and figs.