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A Needle Assemblage from a Roman Shipwreck off the Israeli Coast



Underwater excavation of a shipwreck-site off Hof Carmel, south of Haifa, Israel, yielded numerous artefacts associated with a ship and cargo dated to the 3rd century AD. Among them were eight sewing needles: six of bronze, one of copper and one of brass. This article describes the needles including their chemical composition, discusses comparable finds from nautical and domestic contexts, and their possible uses and roles aboard a Roman ship.