|The Baron de Rothschild’s lost ship|
In a recent new study, researchers from the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies at the University of Haifa have evidence to show that a shipwreck discovered at Dor Beach in 1976 may be identified as the Baron de Rothschild’s missing ship.
The ship was one of three ships used to carry raw materials from France to a glass factory established by the baron at Tantura. The ship vanished without a trace in the late nineteenth century. “We know that two of the baron’s three ships were sold, but we have no information concerning the third ship. The ship we have found is structurally consistent with the specifications of the Baron’s ships, carried a similar cargo, and sailed and sank during the right period,” explained Dr. Deborah Cvikel and Micky Holtzman, who are investigating the shipwreck.
In 1893 the Baron de Rothschild founded a glass factory at Tantura beach in order to enable the local production of wine bottles for the winery at nearby Zichron Yaacov.
The factory was actually established and managed by Meir Dizengoff, the first mayor of Tel Aviv. The Baron even purchased three small ships to transport raw materials from factories in France to the factory at Tantura, and hired Jewish crews to man the ships. Contemporary records detail the purchase of the ships and specify their models. It was also noted that the ships were damaged and required repairs. Two of the ships were ultimately sold, while the fate of the third ship remains unknown.
Dr. Cvikel and Mr. Holtzman are now proposing the hypothesis that a two-masted shipwreck off the coast at Dor (Tantura) that was first excavated in 1999 may be the missing Baron’s missing ship. The shipwreck was excavated underwater in 1999-2000 in a study that focused mainly on the structure of the ship, and again in 2008 in a study that focused mainly on its contents, which included pots, earthenware, ceramic tiles, roof tiles, barrels, crates, and several sacks. The present study is based on the processing of findings from the 2008 excavation.Please login or register to see the full article