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Wooden Roman Anchors Found in Dead Sea

Ancient wooden anchors preserved by natural salt for more than 2,000 years have been discovered on the receding shores of the Dead Sea, Israel TV reported Monday.

Archaeologist David Mevorach told the TV station that one anchor dated back 2,500 years — the oldest ever found. Another anchor was 2,000 years old, he said. They were built from acacia wood for Roman ships, he said.

The Dead Sea, with no outlet, has a high concentration of salt.

"The salt and the lack of oxygen in the water preserved them in a special way, including the ropes that were tied to the boat," he said.

Also, the small sea has been receding in recent years, as the evaporation rate exceeds the replenishment of water from the Jordan River, diverted for irrigation. Archaeological artifacts have been found along the newly exposed coastline.