The Ship 43 graveyard

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Photo:  Dr Damian Robinson, Director, Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology

Ship 43 and the graveyard at the port of Thonis-Heracleion in Egypt is one of the topics under discussion at this year’s annual NAS conference taking place on 2 November.

Project leader, Dr Damian Robinson, Director, Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford, will be presenting a paper on the investigation into the cluster of ships found during the survey at the port over the last two field seasons.

The ships all appear to be roughly of the same date and were deposited at the same time. Dr Robinson told NAS that this graveyard performed either a military purpose to block up harbour mouths against the threat of Persian invasion or were used to create harbour infrastructure in order to reclaim the land and create an artificial island.

“In order to assess which one is more likely, we will have to look at the stones covering the ships and the patterns of wooden piles that were driven into them can be related to buildings or other structures that would suggest the second hypothesis”, he said.

The researchers will also examine the context of the graveyard more carefully to see whether it was just one aspect of a larger series of defensive structures.

The University of Oxford’s Ship 43 project comes under the auspices of the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology’s investigation into the submerged city of Thonis-Heracleion.

Don’t miss your chance to hear this talk. Bookings are now open for the NAS Conference 2013.