Dozens of amphoras, the cargo of an eighth-century B.C.E. Phoenician ship, lie intact under 1,000 feet of water 35 miles off the ancient port of Ashkelon, Israel. Artifacts in such deep water are less likely to be disturbed by the action of waves or by looters, and they often survive in excellent condition.

Two Phoenician wrecks—probably from the same flotilla—were explored in 1999 by archaeologist Lawrence Stager of Harvard University and explorer Robert Ballard. They are the only Iron Age shipwrecks found so far in the eastern Mediterranean.