The Shipwreck at Ain el Mreisseh, Beirut - 2013

Dr Ralph Pedersen and Dr Lucy Semaan

This project concerns the rescue excavation of a shipwreck that seemingly dates to around the 9th century BC.

The site is highly disturbed by environmental and human factors, but nevertheless promises to reveal significant information on early Iron Age seafaring in the Levant as few if any other wrecks from this time period have been found and studied.

During August 2013, archaeological excavation was conducted at an underwater site of Ain el Mreisseh in the vicinity of AUB Beach. The site, first noticed in 2008, was theorised to be a possible Iron Age shipwreck site, perhaps dating to the 9th century BC. This date was derived from the shape of a large ovoid anchor in the site, which is reminiscent of Phoenician-age anchors, as well as from ceramics remains, particular that of a sherd with a large handle (Artifact designation AM001).

Excavation of the site revealed the place was more than an Iron Age date, and probably more likely an anchorage used in the various periods of the Beirut seafront.

Click here to see a video documentary of the site