Iranian archaeologists plan to raise an ancient ship recently discovered in the Persian Gulf, but they lack the equipment necessary to allow divers to work at a depth of 70 meters.
The ship was discovered about two months ago by Daryakav Company workers who were fishing in the Persian Gulf. Archaeologists believe it dates back to the Parthian or Sassanid eras based on the shards brought up in fishing nets and the large amphorae discovered on the ship. Amphorae were used during the Parthian and Sassanid eras.
“Raising the ship is a major operation which requires skillful human resources and equipment,” Daryakav managing director Zolfaqar Arabzadeh told the Persian service of CHN on Thursday.
Diving with ordinary equipment would be lethal at a depth of over 40 meters.
“The ship and its cargo are 70 meters underwater and diving without special equipment would result in the death of divers at such a depth. Thus we need saturation diving equipment,” he added.
Saturation diving is a method of prolonged diving, using an underwater habitat to allow divers to remain in the high-pressure environment of the ocean depths long enough for their body tissues to become saturated with the inert components of the pressurized gas mixture that they breathe: when this condition is reached, the amount of time required for decompression remains the same, whether the dive lasts a day, a week, or a month.
Iran lacks the saturation diving equipment required to study the ship’s status and its cargo.
“The equipment is very expensive, but the project is invaluable. The ship will be the most unique vessel found in the Persian Gulf’s history if it is raised. In addition, the job requires people with diving expertise, whose numbers can be counted on the fingers of one hand,” Arabzadeh noted.
Experts believe that Iranian cultural officials should regard it as a national project because the ship is further proof that the gulf is Persian.
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