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Strange 2,500-year old wreck discovered in the Nile ‘ship in the graveyard,’ solving the ancient puzzle

An archaeologist inspects the boat keel. (Christoph Gerigk@Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation)

Archaeologists in Egypt discovered the wreck of an extremely rare ship that traveled the Nile, about 2,500 years ago, the solving of an ancient riddle.

The ship is one of the more than 70 wrecks found in what is described by the experts of the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology (IEASM), the world’s largest “graveyard of ancient ships.” The ships were discovered in the sunken ancient port-city of Thonis-Heracleion in the Nile Delta.

Known as a “baris,” the barge is the subject of a new book by the Oxford University ‘ s Centre for Maritime Archaeology (OCMA). “This was a great ship of the type that is described by the Greek Historian Herodotus after he visited Egypt in 450 BC,” according to the Center, in a statement.

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However, prior to the discovery of the baris, which was renamed to “ship 17” by archaeologists, there was no actual archaeological evidence of the boats. As a result, historians have for centuries argued about Herodotus’ report of the ships, according to the Guardian.

The wooden hull of the ship 17.
(Christoph Gerigk@Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation)

The book “Ship 17 – a baris of Thonis-Heracleion,” by Alexander Belov, solves the mystery and analyzes the construction of the boat is between the 87 and 92 feet long. The boot data is what historians refer to as the “Late Period” in ancient Egypt, which ran from about 712 to 332 B. C.

The baris would be used for the transport of goods, such as fish and stones along the Nile, according to LiveScience, which notes that it might also run troops.

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Belov research says that if it is no longer used as a trading boat, the skipper was probably a part of the harbor, the “maritime infrastructure.”

File photo – bust of the Greek historian Herodotus in the Agora Archaeological Museum in Athens.
(Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

The OCMA is a partnership between the University of Oxford School of Archaeology and IEASM. Funded by the Hilti Foundation, the Centre is led by marine archaeologist Franck Goddio.

Egypt continues to reveal new details of its rich history. Archaeologists recently discovered a large ram-headed sphinx that is linked to King Tutankhamen’s grandfather.

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In other projects, a teenage girl’s skeleton was found in a mysterious tomb near the pyramid of Meidum, south of Cairo.

A view of the ship 17. (Christoph Gerigk@Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation)

Last month, experts announced the discovery of dozens of mummies in the ancient desert tombs. Archaeologists also recently explained the strange brown stains on some of the paintings of King Tutankhamun’s tomb.

In January, archaeologists announced the discovery of ancient tombs in the nile delta north of Cairo. In a separate project, two ancient tombs dating from the Roman period were discovered in Egypt, in the Western Desert.

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In November 2018, researchers confirmed the discovery of eight limestone sarcophagi with mummies, on an area of 25 km south of Cairo. Last year, researchers also discovered a “huge” building that was once part of Egypt’s ancient capital.

In another project, archaeologists discovered a beautiful sphinx statue at an ancient temple in the south of Egypt.

Last summer, experts have unlocked the secrets of a mysterious ancient “cursed” black granite sarcophagus. The huge coffin, which was unearthed in the city of Alexandria, was found to contain three skeletons, and golden plates with the remains.

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The archaeologists also found the oldest solid cheese in the tomb of Ptahmes, the mayor of the ancient city of Memphis.

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A mummy buried in the south of Egypt more than 5000 years ago, also revealed his gruesome secrets, shedding new light on the prehistoric embalming practices.

Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia, and The Associated Press contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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