dimanche 14 septembre 2014

The wreck of Mahdia is an archaeological site underwater

discovered about five kilometers off the Tunisian city of Mahdia, midway archaeological sites Thapsus and Sullecthum. The site hosts a Greek merchant ship failed to following a major storm in Ie century av. J. C.

The latter contained a rich load of artwork and architectural elements which together have many questions for researchers since its découverte1: besides numerous columns and other construction elements, the load was very mixed, especially with many sculptures in marble and bronze.

If the discovery in the early twentieth century was more or less by chance, campaigns successive excavations took place in the middle and in the last decade of this century. Therefore, the site has been considered a witness to the evolution of underwater archeology techniques: if the first excavations used a material that had changed little since the mid-nineteenth century, the turn can be dated from the 1940s, with the invention of the aqualung makes much more freedivers of their movements. Excavations of the ship of Mahdia, with those of the Antikythera discovered in 19002, thus gave birth to discipline3.

In addition, the Antikythera ship, which sank in the second quarter of the first century BC. JC is quite similar to Mahdia ship with a cargo consisting of works of art but also other contemporary works of the sinking, all attesting to a change in the tastes of public4. Besides the fact that they are a "link of choice in the long chain of discoveries underwater," according Nayla Ouertani, excavations have unearthed an exceptional collection of artworks and facing specialists as technical issues related to the history of art with the problem of transition between artistic periods; the contents of the shipment also evokes the flow of art5.

Most of the discoveries is exposed to the Bardo Museum in the inner suburbs of Tunis; Museum of the nearest town site itself is home to only a few elements.

Bust of Hermes
Photo credit: Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn, H. Lilienthal
Bust of Aphrodite
Photo credit: Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn, H. Lilienthal

Name and / or number of the archaeological site:Mahdia
Date of discovery of the site:1907
Site location (Country):Tunisia
Site Location (Zone):Three miles off Mahdia
Latitude:35 ° 30 '..
Longitude:11 ° 04 '..
Depth:39 m
Visible remains at baseline:Marble columns.
Nature and date of action:1 - Discovered in 1907
2 - Archaeological excavation of 1907-1913.
3 - Excavation in 1948
4 - Excavation in 1953 and 1954
5 - Searching in 1993
Name:1 - Greek sponge fishermen (looting and selling antiques in Tunisia)
2 - A. Merlin, Director of Antiquities in Tunisia.
3 - French Navy (Ph Tailliez J. Cousteau, F. Dumas.)
4 - G. Frondeville
5 - DEGUWA (German Society for Underwater Archaeology) and the Tunisian National Heritage Institute)
Site identification
Dating and means:The second quarter of the first century BC, ceramics. The dating was complicated by the presence of a large number of works of art dating Hellenistic style which spans half a century. The study ceramics allowed dating.
Origin (cultural context):Merchantman Greek or Roman, transportation of works of art of Greece to Italy (?)
Return of the vessel
Length preserved / restored from the keel:26 m
Total length preserved / restored:Length returned 40.6 m
Width preserved / restored:Maximum width returned 13.8 m
Wood species identified:Orme (keel and planking).
Design principle:Wood freeboard assembly system tenons, tongues and ankles.
Short description of the structures:Double planking, frames measuring 15 x 15 cm, shell lined lead.
Archaeological material
Inventory of items: fixed equipment for use:A large number of nails bronze elements bilge pump.
Inventory of items: mobile equipment for use:5 anchors Kapitan kind 3c Kedge lead with a total weight of 13 tons. Five wheels, two type Olynthe (mill lever) and three types of mill turn. Including full rotary grinder probably used on board and the other stones perhaps as ballast (poor), five tiles (teulae mammatae), 5 amphorae Kos, a Punic amphora, a Spanish amphora amphorae Dressel and two 1 / Will 4 and an amphora Dressel 1 / Will 4b, two cylindrical weights gray marble.
Inventory of items: artillery and heavy weapons:Six bronze elements of a catapult
Inventory of items: personal items:Four bronze coins, tableware including a dish of black patent Campana type and Pompeian red stove.
Inventory of items: cargo:70 barrels marble columns (Hymettan and Pentelic), 3 Doric capitals, more than twenty Ionic, ionic bases, 18 capitals lion-headed griffin marble candelabra 5, 4 craters marble, ten statues or fragments of Parian marble statue (one Aphrodite), 5 Greek inscriptions from Athens, many bronzes including a bust of Hermes signed Boethos of Chalcedon and a statue of a child identified as Agon or Eros, two frames decoration depicting Dionysus and Ariadne, a statuette of Hermes 3 dwarfs dancing Eros (wheel) playing the harp, two candlesticks holders representing Eros, the other a Hermaphrodite, 2 small statuettes satyr, two figures of actors, 4 sconces and a bust of Athena with a winged victory, a series of wall, with two beds and numbered fulcra feet with identical to those found on the wreck of the Greek figures Fourmigue C, three chandeliers, lamps one, two or three burners, a basin coal rolling, 17 bronze vessels, 12 ingots of lead mines in the Iberian Peninsula including 3 producers are identified: Atellius Gnaeus, Marcus Planius, Lucius Planius .
Summary of the contributions of the search:This is probably the transport of material from looting or commercial operation from Piraeus to 80-90 BC This operation occurring after the time of the barbarian conquest (86 BC) and the looting of Athens by Roman troops commanded by Sulla.

0 commentaires:

Enregistrer un commentaire