Dead rats helped archaeologists unravel the mystery of the sunken ship

(ORDO NEWS) — Archaeologists from the University of Haifa in the laboratory conducted a study of the wreckage of a ship that sank 1400 years ago.

The ship was discovered a few years ago at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. Dead ship rats were also analyzed. This is what helped to reveal one of the secrets of the death of an ancient ship.

They studied the site of the death of a merchant ship that sank off the coast of Israel between 648 and 740 AD. The study helped to learn not only about the life of the ship’s crew, but also to learn more about the trade relations of the Mediterranean in that period.

Thanks to the analysis, it was possible to find out that several types of rats lived on the ship. Some of the rodents turned out to be black rats that traveled with traders to the Middle East from South Asia and India.

However, other species turned out to be much more exotic. The morphology of their teeth indicates that these rodents may have originated in Tunisia or Corsica in the central Mediterranean.

This discovery significantly expanded the geography of ancient trade links. This indicates that the countries of the Levant had extensive business ties with outlying territories.

It was possible to learn more about the life of sailors thanks to the many artifacts found. For example, cargo was recovered from the crash site, which included Byzantine and early Islamic pottery.

It is noted that the sailors on the ship belonged to different nationalities. Christian crosses and Muslim blessings were found on the ship. The sides were written in Greek and Arabic. No human remains were found on the ship.


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