Ancient stone anchor used for 2,000 years found on Israel’s northern coast

Archaeologists have uncovered an ancient boat anchor made of stone that remained in use for around 2,000 years, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority announced Thursday.

The anchor, which was found in an underwater dig at the Tel Dor archaeological site in northern Israel, was first used in the Bronze Age some 3,300 years ago and remained in use during the Byzantine period until roughly 500 CE, according to the parks authority.

It weighs around 100 kilograms (220 pounds), with the parks authority saying it is similar to other anchors found in the ancient Syrian port of Ugarit and the Uluburun shipwreck off Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

Archaeologists also found that the bottom of the bay around the ancient settlement at Tel Dor was covered with ballast stones, which are used to stabilize ships, and discovered numerous stone tools and shards of earthenware that were used to transport goods such as wine and oil.

This handout photo from June 10, 2021, shows an ancient stone anchor that was found at the Tel Dor archaeological site in northern Israel. (Yaniv Cohen/Israel Nature and Parks Authority)

“Making Tel Dor’s heritage accessible to the public could connect thousands of years of maritime and continental history of one of the most import cities discovered in the Land of Israel,” archaeologist Dror Ben-Yosef was quoted as saying in a statement from the parks authority.

The parks authority, which conducted the dig with the University of Haifa’s Department of Maritime Civilizations, said the anchor had been removed from the sea and that archaeologists were trying to determine its origin.

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