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Crusader shipwreck, gold found by diving archaeologists in Israel

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April Kincaid
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« on: March 17, 2017, 11:48:23 pm »

Crusader wreck tells tale of Crusader Holy Land conquest
March 18, 20172:04pm

A Crusader-era book illumination showing a Christian ship at sea. A wreck near the port of Acre dates from the fall of that city — and the last hours of the Crusader state.
Jamie SeidelNews Corp Australia Network

CHRISTIAN knights and Mameluke warriors were fighting on the walls. Now the wreck of a 13th century ship reveals the desperate bid to save the Holy Land.

The port of the city of Acre was a vital lifeline for Crusader knights and settlers alike. Through it streamed European pilgrims, horses, fighting men and manufacturing goods, all vital to sustain Christianity’s tenuous hold in what would later become Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Israel.

In return, ships carried precious cargoes of sugar, spice and exotic textiles.

But, in 1291, it all came crashing down.

The Egyptian Mameluke Sultan Al-Ashraf Khalil — leading an army of 100,000 men and horses — rolled back the Christian defences, weakened by almost two centuries of fighting to maintain control over the Holy Land.

European interest was failing — despite efforts by Pope Gregory X to summon reinforcements. And the militant orders — international organisations of warrior-monks — established to defend the Holy Land had become engrossed by their own wealth and the games of thrones back home.

What support did arrive for those few on the front line was invariably too little, too late.

Eventually, the European knights fell back to their final fortress — the city of Acre.

Here, besieged, they were totally reliant on support from the sea.
Gold Crusader florins found in Acre harbour by diving archaeologists. Picture: Israel Antiquities Authority

http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/archaeology/crusader-wreck-tells-tale-of-crusader-holy-land-conquest/news-story/9d8e204db32f1243029d25d426e7a035
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