The Ma‘agan Mikhael B Shipwreck

Exploring a 7th-8th century CE Shipwreck

The Ma‘agan Mikhael B shipwreck is the remains of a 25-m-long merchantman, dated to the seventh–eighth centuries CE. The shipwreck is located about 70 m off the Mediterranean coast of Israel, at a maximum water depth of 3 m, buried under 1.5 m of sand. The shipwreck has so far been excavated for six seasons by Prof. Deborah Cvikel of the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies of the University of Haifa. The hull remains, comprising the keel, endposts, aprons, framing timbers, hull planks, stringers, bulkheads, and the maststep assembly, are in a good state of preservation. The most significant find is the large ceramic assemblage comprising complete amphorae, as well as juglets, bowls, cooking wares and sherds. Other finds include rigging elements, wooden artefacts, organic finds, glassware, coins, bricks, and ballast stones. The dating of this shipwreck makes it an exceptional source of information regarding various aspects of ship construction, seamanship and seafaring, regional economic activity and daily life in the Levant during Late Antiquity.

Several MA and PhD theses have resulted from excavations and research of this shipwreck. The underwater excavations and research of the Maʻagan Mikhael B shipwreck are supported by the Israel Science Foundation, the Honor Frost Foundation, the Research Authority of the University of Haifa, Kibbutz Ma‘agan Mikhael, and anonymous donors.

In the cover: Underwater excavation of the Maʻagan Mikhael B shipwreck. Photo by A. Yurman. 

Divers M. Cohen and M. Creisher examine the pottery near the fore bulkhead. Photo by A. Yurman
View of the bow section of the hull looking east. Photo by A. Yurman