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Akko Tower Shipwreck Probably Dates to the Nineteenth Century and is Not Connected to Napoleon

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 21:09
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Akko Tower Shipwreck Probably Dates to the Nineteenth Century and is Not Connected to Napoleon

The Akko Tower Wreck has been playing tricks with researchers for over 50 years. The shipwreck was discovered during the first maritime archeological survey conducted in Israel using remote sensing technology, in 1966, and bears the distinction of being the first shipwreck identified off the coast of Israel. But the shipwreck is also unique in another respect: to date, researchers have been unable to agree on its identity, and as time passed the mystery only seemed to become more opaque.

The shipwreck was discovered in 1966 by the late Dr. Elisha Linder, the pioneer of maritime archeology in Israel and the founder of the Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies at the University of Haifa, working together with a British team. The researchers hypothesized that the ship was sunk at the entrance to the port of Akko by the British during their attempt to prevent entry by the navy of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799. A map found in a British archive that allegedly belonged to one of the British soldiers who participated in the battle, indicated that the British had indeed sunk a ship at the appropriate location and convinced the researchers that their hypothesis was correct. As the years passed, however, new details emerged. For example — Napoleon Bonaparte arrived in Akko via land and there would have been no need to sink the ship. Moreover, further exploration of the shipwreck revealed that the vessel was smaller than had originally been believed — 25 meters rather than 45 — and was in all probability a merchant ship. – Reconstructing the story of humanity’s past


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