In the sun-drenched waters near St. Thomas Bay on Malta's southeast shore, a remarkable discovery was made that could rewrite a piece of ancient history. Archaeologists believe they have uncovered all four anchors from the famous shipwreck of Paul, a pivotal event described in the Bible.
Imagine this: four ancient anchors, resting silently on the seabed, just forty yards apart and at the precise 90-foot depth mentioned in old sailors' tales. These anchors, true to the style of Roman ships from the first century, were found near Munxar reef, a natural underwater barrier protruding from the bay. One of these anchors has been particularly exciting for historians. Its design and make suggest it's from the same era as Paul's ill-fated voyage. It's like finding a hidden piece of a puzzle that fits perfectly into the story we've known for centuries. On that stormy night, the sound that filled the sailors' ears was the roar of waves crashing against Munxar reef.
The crew aboard Paul's ship would have been strangers to these waters. Driven off their intended course by severe weather, they found themselves in an unfamiliar and treacherous seascape. St. Thomas Bay, and not St. Paul’s Bay as some previously thought, appears to be the actual site of this ancient shipwreck.
Why St. Thomas Bay? Well, it lies in the path a ship would take if pushed by a Euroclydon, an ancient term for a powerful storm, much like a typhoon. Approaching from the east/southeast, the ship would have been blocked by the long, shallow Munxar reef extending from the bay. Even on calm days, waves crash over this rocky barricade. Maritime charts of the area reveal more clues. The seabed slopes in a way that matches ancient descriptions, and there's a sandy beach at St. Thomas Bay – a much more likely landing spot for the ship's crew, who would have had to swim or float ashore.
Read the article. Can you answer the questions below?
- Why do some archaeologists believe Paul’s shipwreck occurred in St. Thomas Bay?
- What was discovered near St. Thomas Bay?
- What do you think? Did Paul and the men swim ashore at St. Paul’s Bay or St. Thomas Bay?