Look inside an ancient Holy Land shipwreck

STORY: This shipwreck found off the shore of Israel

reveals the tenacity of ancient traders

Location: Maagan Michael, Israel

It dates back to the 7th or 8th century AD

and contains cargo from all over the Mediterranean

Evidence that traders from the West still came to port

even after the Islamic conquest of the Holy Land

[Deborah Cvikel, Nautical archaeologist, University of Haifa]

"It's unique first because of its size, it is about 20 meters long and 5 meters beam, which is the largest shipwreck we've ever excavated. And also because of its dating, it's dated between the 7th and the 8th century CE, which is the shift between the Byzantine and Islamic rule in the area."

Researchers used underwater vacuums to

clear out nearly 5 feet of sand from the ship

They found 200 amphoras that still contained

ingredients from the Mediterranean diet

including fish sauce, olives, dates and figs

"If we look at the history books they usually tell us that in this shift, after the decline of the Byzantine rule in this area and the rise of the Islamic rule, then commerce almost stopped, there was no international commerce in the Mediterranean, we had mainly smaller vessels sailing along the coast doing cabotage. And here we have a large shipwreck which we think the original ship was about 25 meters long and we are being modest, laden with cargo from all over the Mediterranean."