Egypt discovers mid-18th Century shipwreck by Saadana Island in Red Sea

Nehal Samir
2 Min Read

An archaeological mission at Alexandria University’s Faculty of Arts, under the supervision of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, has discovered the front part of a shipwreck by Saadana Island in the Red Sea. It was a merchant ship dating back to the mid-18th Century CE.

Ihab Fahmy, head of the Central Department of Sunken Antiquities at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said that the university mission also found the middle part of the ship. This was in addition to hundreds of other finds and artefacts that were part of the ship’s cargo. 

He added that parts of the ship were found during excavations in 1994 by the US Naval Archeology Center expedition.

The Alexandria University archaeological mission resumed work at the site in 2017, with the aim of uncovering and documenting the remainder of the ship’s hull using photogrammetric technology.

This would help the mission make an accurate three-dimensional (3D) model of the ship, studying its design and construction technology, and preserving the artefacts that have been discovered.

Fahmy said that the studies conducted by the mission indicated that the ship discovered held a varied cargo, including porcelain, pottery vessels of different shapes and sizes, in addition to different types of grains. 

He added that studies revealed that it is likely that the shipwreck was caused by its colliding with the huge steep coral reefs during its voyage from Southeast Asia to Egypt.

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