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Researchers find historic wreck of the USS “Hit ‘em HARDER”

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The Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) has confirmed the discovery of the USS Harder (SS 257), an historic US submarine from WWII.

The USS Harder was a Gato-class submarine dubbed “Hit ‘Em Harder” for the havoc she caused Japanese shipping in the duration of the war in the Pacific.

The submarine gained a reputation for daring exploits over the course of six patrols, which earned the Harder and her crew six battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation for their service in WWII.

During the Battle of Dasol Bay on her sixth patrol, Harder was depth charged and sunk with 79 souls aboard by the Japanese Type D escort ship CD-22.

Image Credit : Air Group Commander Andrew Jackson, U.S. Navy – U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation

According to a recent press announcement by the Lost 52 Project, an organisation dedicated to the long term exploration and study of US Navy submarines lost on patrol during WWII, the USS Harder has been discovered at a depth of more than 3,000 feet in the West Philippine Sea near the Philippines’ northern island of Luzon.

“Harder was lost in the course of victory. We must not forget that victory has a price, as does freedom,” said NHHC Director Samuel J. Cox, U.S. Navy rear admiral (retired). “We are grateful that Lost 52 has given us the opportunity to once again honour the valour of the crew of the ‘Hit ‘em HARDER’ submarine that sank the most Japanese warships – in particularly audacious attacks – under her legendary skipper, Cmdr. Sam Dealey.”

A 4D photogrammetry study of the wreck site has revealed that the USS Harder sits mostly intact and upright. A large hole on the port side just aft of the conning tower indicates Harder likely received a direct hit by a depth charge.

Header Image Credit : Tim Taylor

Sources : Lost 52 Project

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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3,400-year-old shipwreck found with cargo mostly intact

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Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority Marine Unit have discovered a 3,400-year-old shipwreck with the cargo mostly intact.

The site was first identified during an underwater survey by Energean, an energy company searching for natural gas deposits beneath the Mediterranean Sea Floor.

This led to the discovery of the shipwreck and its cargo at a depth of 1.8 kilometers, along with its cargo that consists of Late Bronze Age Canaanite storage vessels.

IAA archaeologists, in collaboration with Energean, have used the deep sea exploratory vessel, “Energean Star” to conduct a visual inspection of the wreck site. This has revealed hundreds of ceramic vessels on the seabed, and a muddy layer which likely conceals a second layer and the wooden beams of the ship.

Jacob Sharvit, Head of the Israel Antiquities Authority Marine Unit, explains, “The ship seems to have sunk in crisis, either due to a storm or to an attempted piracy attack – a well-known occurrence in the Late Bronze Age. This is both the first and the oldest ship found in the Eastern Mediterranean deep sea, ninety kilometres from the nearest shore.”

Image Credit : IAA

Only two other ships from this period have been found – the boat from Cape Gelidonya and the Uluburun boat; both found off the Turkish coast. Both ships were found near the shore, suggesting that shipping routes followed the coastline between ports. However, this new discovery changes the understanding of ancient marine trade, demonstrating that ancient shipping also extended into deep waters.

“The ship is preserved at such a great depth that time has frozen since the moment of disaster – its body and contexts have not been disturbed by human hand (divers, fishermen, etc.); nor affected by waves and currents which do impact shipwrecks in shallower waters,” added Sharvit.

Header Image Credit : IAA

Sources : Israel Antiquities Authority

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Liquid containing cremated human remains is the world’s oldest known wine

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Archaeologists have discovered the oldest known preserved wine, a 2,000-year-old white wine of Andalusian origin.

The origins of wine is debatable, with some sources citing the invention to China, or from Georgia, Iran, and Armenia. Wine was an integral part of the Roman diet and most major wine-producing regions of Western Europe were established during the Roman Imperial era.

The wine was found in a Roman era tomb in the Spanish town of Carmona. It was used for a funerary rite, where the wine was placed in a glass urn and used to immerse the cremated remains of one of the deceased.

“At first we were very surprised that liquid was preserved in one of the funerary urns,” said the City of Carmona’s municipal archaeologist, Juan Manuel Román. “After all, 2,000 years had passed, but the tomb’s conservation conditions were extraordinary and allowed the wine to maintain its natural state.”

Ancient wines absorbed into vessel walls or their residues can be identified using specific biomarkers. However, the example from Carmona is the first instance where the wine has been analysed while still in its liquid state.

The results of the study, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, applied high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) to identify the polyphenols in the liquid, allowing it to be identified as white wine.

Identifying the origins of the wine was challenging due to the absence of surviving samples from the same period for comparison. However, the mineral salts in the liquid suggest that the wine may originate from the former province of Betis, particularly the Montilla-Moriles region.

A second urn contained the remains of a cremated woman but no traces of a liquid or wine. According to the paper authors: “The fact that the man’s skeletal remains were immersed in the wine is no coincidence. Women in ancient Rome were long prohibited from drinking wine. It was a man’s drink.”

Header Image Credit : Juan Manuel Román

Sources : Daniel Cosano, Juan Manuel Román, Dolores Esquivel, Fernando Lafont, José Rafael Ruiz Arrebola, “New archaeochemical insights into Roman wine from Baetica”, Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, vol. 57, 2024, 104636. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2024.104636

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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