Iron artefacts from the Akko Tower Wreck, Israel, and their contribution to the ship’s characterization Academic Article uri icon


  • The Akko Tower Wreck was found inside Akko harbour, Israel, in 1966, next to the Tower of Flies, after which it was named. The shipwreck was excavated in 2012 and 2013. During the underwater excavations, two metal concretions were retrieved, X-rayed, and on opening were found to contain three almost identical iron-bound deadeyes. An iron bolt was also retrieved, covered with concretion. Metallurgical characterization was used to elucidate the manufacturing technology and to date the items. The artefacts were found to be made of annealed wrought iron. The use of wrought iron, forge-welding, and the presence of 0.1–0.2 wt.% Mn may indicate manufacturing in the mid-nineteenth century. Combined with the transition from hemp to chain cable for rigging in 1808, and by the 1840s to wire rope, all the indications are that the deadeyes were made in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. The size of the deadeyes, and the dimensions of their chain links, may indicate their use at the topmast of a brig of about 160 T. This agrees with other evidence in suggesting that the Akko Tower Wreck is the remains of a European vessel which sank in Akko harbour about the second quarter of the nineteenth century.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017