The mystery sinking of the Ma'agan Mikhael Ship has opened up new chapters and far reaching connections in ancient seafaring

Zena Halpern

In a truly remarkable series of circumstances the underwater discovery od a 2,400 year old merchant vessel off the coast of Israel in 1985 and its mysterious sinking has set off a chain of wide ranging connections which will be explored in this article. The sinking of the ship, so close to the ancient harbor of Tel Dor and the Tantura Lagoon opens up the possibility that this was the ship’s destination. The article will explore the spectacular harbor site of Tel Dor and its famed lagoon with its underwaterhistory of three millennia of seafaring. Dor’s far reaching trade network extending weswt across the Mediterranean into the Atlantic and beyond will be detailed. A little known Phoenician/Israelite seafaring partnership at Tel Dor will be recovered and its significance discussed. The question of trans-oceanic voyages in light of the influential status of Tel Dor as a major maritime center in the eastern Mediterranean will be presented along with well documented evidence of ancient scripts found in America with the latest epigraphic analysis of these controversial tablets.

Advanced Knowledge of Ancient Ship Technology
The Mystery Sinking Leads to Tel Dor
Voyage and Cargo: A Geological Clue
The Phoenician/Israelite Seafaring Partnership
An Unrecognized Factor: Israelite Maritime Capability
Transoceanic Voyages: Challenging the Consensus
Ancient Mediteranean Scripts in America: Records on Stone