Two ancient shipwrecks have been discovered off the coast of Caesarea; one dates to the third century and the other is 600 years old. The structures were found at a depth of 13 feet (4 m) and the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Marine Archaeology Unit believes they were probably anchored nearby when they were destroyed by storms. Treasure hordes of coins were found in both shipwrecks, including hundreds of silver and bronze Roman coins and a large trove of silver coins from the Mamluk period. A variety of personal effects were found, including an inkwell, a bronze figurine in the form of an eagle, numerous bronze bells, pottery vessels and a large iron anchor. One of the most striking artifacts was a gold ring engraved with the figure of the shepherd holding a lamb on his shoulders. Scholars believe it to be a depiction of the Good Shepherd, a well-known image in early Christian art, likely meaning its owner was a Christian. Another gemstone was discovered featuring the image of a harp/lyre, an instrument made famous by King David (1 Sam. 16:18). The IAA noted Caesarea’s great significance in Christian tradition in their press release about the finds.
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