Ancient Roman shipwreck discovered off Crimea coast

admin   •   August 10, 2018   •   5060

 

Fragments of ancient Roman shipwreck underwater (Screenshot from Reuters video)

 

Researchers in Crimea have uncovered a riveting archaeological find not far from the Sevastopol coastline. At the mouth of the usually busy and picturesque Balaklava Gulf, sonar scans revealed what turned out to be a Roman trading vessel dating from the 2nd-3rd centuries AD.

The ship lay 85 meters below the waves and proved to be a challenge for divers to reach and thoroughly inspect. Nevertheless, Neptune Expedition diver Pavel Lapshin reveled at the chance to be part of an archaeological mission. He was part of a two-man group of professional career divers who took video and photo material for experts to analyze.

Crimea native historian Viktor Lebedinsky was able to determine the type and purpose of the ship based on the footage, with the anchor providing the most concrete evidence. Since Crimea was a Roman colony in ancient times, the Sevastopol State University Marine Studies Department already had a scale model which they used to study the ships of their former conquerors. The ship was of the round type, meaning it carried significant cargo and treaded waters in peacetime.

Neptune Expedition Maritime Research hopes to gather funds for a more large-scale study of the object next year, and maybe have the opportunity to retrieve it. There have been no reports of treasures found so far. — Reuters

Egypt uncovers 4,400-year-old tomb near Giza Pyramids

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2019

Egypt announced on Saturday the discovery of a cemetery near the Great Pyramids of Giza, including one tomb shared by two priests from over 4,400 years ago.

The excavation team uncovered the ancient burial site with sarcophagi dated back to the Fifth Dynasty (2494-2345 BC) while researching for tombs of the Late Period (664-332 BC).

“To discover an Old Kingdom (2686-2181 BC) tomb within the 26th Dynasty (664-525 BC) tombs is very important. It tells us about the people who have maintained the cult of the king. The workmen tombs are different completely. The workmen tombs are very important. They are proof to the world that they built the pyramids, they were Egyptians and they were not slaves,” said Zahi Hawas, an Egyptian archeologist.

The most prominent figure in the discovery is known as Behnui-Ka, a top judge, priest and supervisor of the construction of the Pyramid of Khafre, the second largest pyramid in Egypt.

Buried with him in the same tomb was Nwi, a grand priest of the holy court.

Colorful wooden artifacts were also discovered.

“Any archeological discovery, even the small one, add a lot to our knowledge in Egyptology. We discovered a small cemetery to the south east of the pyramids of Giza, one well preserved tomb from the second half of the Fifth Dynasty. We discovered six colored coffins. The excavation is only beginning and

I think that we have many seasons to work in this area,” said Khaled al-Anani, Egyptian Minister of Antiquities.

Thousands of people every year visit Giza to be amazed by the sight of one of the lasting seven wonders of the world.

However, in recent months, Egypt has announced a series of ancient discoveries such as a 3,500-year-old tomb and a mummy inside an unopened coffin dating to at least 1069 BC at two sites in the southern Egyptian city of Luxor.

Authorities hope that the discoveries will help revive the country’s battered tourism industry, a main source of national income, and provide a more comprehensive experience of the ancient Egyptian civilization to its visitors. (REUTERS)

Russia seizes Ukrainian ships near annexed Crimea after firing on them

UNTV News   •   November 26, 2018

Russian jet fighters fly over a bridge connecting the Russian mainland with the Crimean Peninsula with a cargo ship beneath it after three Ukrainian navy vessels was stopped by Russia from entering the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait in the Black Sea, Crimea November 25, 2018. REUTERS/Pavlishak Alexey

MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) – Russia seized three Ukrainian naval ships off the coast of Russia-annexed Crimea on Sunday after opening fire on them and wounding several sailors, a move that risks igniting a dangerous new crisis between the two countries.

Russia’s FSB security service said early on Monday its border patrol boats had seized the Ukrainian naval vessels in the Black Sea and used weapons to force them to stop, Russian news agencies reported.

The FSB said it had been forced to act because the ships — two small Ukrainian armored artillery vessels and a tug boat. — had illegally entered its territorial waters, attempted illegal actions, and ignored warnings to stop while maneuvering dangerously.

“Weapons were used with the aim of forcibly stopping the Ukrainian warships,” the FSB said in a statement circulated to Russian state media.

“As a result, all three Ukrainian naval vessels were seized in the Russian Federation’s territorial waters in the Black Sea.”

The FSB said three Ukrainian sailors had been wounded in the incident and were getting medical care. Their lives were not in danger, it said.

With relations still raw after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its backing for a pro-Moscow insurgency in eastern Ukraine, the incident risks pushing the two countries towards a wider conflict.

Ukraine denied its ships had done anything wrong, accused Russia of military aggression, and for the international community to mobilize to punish Russia.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko held a meeting with his top military and security chiefs amid talk of imposing martial law.

Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and then built a giant road bridge linking it to southern Russia which straddles the Kerch Strait – a narrow stretch of water which links the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov which is home to two of Ukraine’s most important ports.

Russia’s control of Crimea, where its Black Sea Fleet is based, and of the bridge, mean it is able to control shipping flows.

The crisis began earlier on Sunday after Russia stopped the three Ukrainian ships from entering the Sea of Azov by placing a cargo ship beneath the bridge.

A Reuters witness said Russia backed its blockade with at least two Sukhoi Su-25 warplanes which screeched overhead. Russian state TV said Russian combat helicopters had been deployed in the area.

The Ukrainian navy said on social media that six Ukrainian sailors had been wounded in the subsequent seizure of its ships which appear to have been rammed and boarded and that the Russian attack on them had occurred after they had retreated and headed back towards Odessa, the Black Sea port from where they had begun their journey.

“After leaving the 12-mile zone, the Russian Federation’s FSB (security service) opened fire at the flotilla belonging to … the armed forces of Ukraine,” it said in a statement.

The European Union in a statement said it expected Russia to restore freedom of passage via the Kerch Strait and urged both sides to act with utmost restraint to de-escalate the situation. A NATO spokeswoman issued a similar appeal to both sides.

RISK OF WIDER CONFLICT
A bilateral treaty gives both Russia and Ukraine the right to use the Sea of Azov, which lies between them and is linked by the narrow Kerch Strait to the Black Sea. Since Russia annexed Crimea, tension has risen with both countries complaining about shipping delays and harassment.

Earlier on Sunday, Russia’s border guard service had accused Ukraine of not informing it in advance of the three ships’ journey, something Kiev denied.

Russia said the Ukrainian ships had been maneuvering dangerously and ignoring its instructions with the aim of stirring up tensions.

Russian politicians denounced Kiev, saying the incident looked like a calculated bid by Poroshenko to increase his popularity ahead of an election next year.

In another sign of rising tensions, Russia’s state-controlled RIA news agency reported on Sunday night that Ukrainian forces had started heavy shelling of residential areas in eastern Ukraine which is controlled by pro-Moscow separatists.

Reuters could not independently confirm that and the Interfax news agency cited separatists as denying there had been any unusual escalation.

Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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Portuguese archaeologists find centuries-old shipwreck

admin   •   September 25, 2018

 

 

Cascais, Portugal | REUTERS

Portuguese archaeologists described the discovery of a centuries-old shipwreck off the coast of Cascais, near Lisbon, as the country’s “discovery of the decade,” on Monday (September 24) at a news conference in the coastal city.

The ship, discovered on September 3, 12 meters below the surface of the sea, is believed to have been sunk between 1575 and 1625 and contains spices, Chinese ceramics and the ship’s cannons engraved with Portugal’s coat of arms. Shell used as currency at the time was also found in the wreck.

The project was led by Cascais city hall with the assistance of Lisbon’s Nova University and the Portuguese government and navy. — Reuters

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