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To put a cedar ship in a bottle: Dendroprovenancing three ancient East Mediterranean watercraft with the 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratio

This paper presents the latest provenance results of cedar wood (Cedrus sp.) from three ancient watercrafts: the Carnegie boat (Middle Kingdom Egypt), the wrecked merchant ship at Uluburun (Bronze Age Mediterranean), and the galley comprising the Athlit Ram (Hellenistic Mediterranean). Comparing the ratios of 87Sr/86Sr of the archaeological wood and cedar from modern forests has helped augment the existing hypotheses pertaining to where the wood used in the construction of these vessels originated. The results demonstrate that strontium-isotopic analysis can provide valuable information to assist wood provenance research in ancient and maritime contexts, which in turn may elucidate ancient forestry and shipbuilding practices.

  • Sara Rich Sturt W. Manning Patrick Degryse Frank Vanhaecke Kris Latruwe Karel Van Lerberghe
  • Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports
  • 2016
  • http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.08.034