The survey area lies between present-day ‘Atlit in the north and Ha-Bonim Nature Reserve in the south, extending up to 200 m west of the coastline (Fig. 1). This offshore area, traversed by a north–south, mostly submerged kurkar (eolianite rock) ridge, was previously surveyed, revealing remains of a Neolithic settlement and burial grounds of this period, as well as evidence of intense maritime activity spanning the Middle Bronze Age to the Byzantine period (Galili 1985; Galili et al. 2009; 2017; Galili, Gale and Rosen 2011:68).
The area of interest was divided up by a grid of 200 × 200 m quadrants, seven of which were surveyed (Areas B4, B6, B8, B12, B14, C2 and C4; Fig. 1; for the location of Area B14, see Fig. 7). The survey finds consisted mostly of concentrations of hewn stones that were part of shipwrecked cargoes, stone anchors, pottery sherds and fragments of basalt tools, broadly representing the timespan from the Bronze Age up to and beyond the Byzantine period. Submerged architectural remains documented in Area B14 predate the Holocene sea-level rise, and thus are possibly of a Neolithic age.
Area B4. A complete flask and two carrot-shaped amphora bases were found on the western slope of the submerged kurkar ridge, affixed to the bedrock by encrustation (Fig. 2). Based on an in situ examination of the artifacts, the flask was assigned a third–first centuries BCE date, and the two amphorae—a date between the first century BCE and the first century CE (for parallels, see Berlin 2015:666, Pl. 6.1.19:9; Peacock and Williams 1986:109, Class 12).
Area B6. This area yielded a concentration of architectural elements (Fig. 3), mostly hewn stones of an unidentified material and cut schist stones (Fig. 4), as well as a trapezoidal one-hole stone anchor with slightly convex elongated edges (Fig. 5)—all encrusted to a rocky reef. The finds appear to have been part of a shipwrecked cargo. Parallels for the stone anchor are known from two nearby underwater sites—a shipwreck of the Late Bronze Age at Carmel Forge (Hishule Karmel; Galili, Gale and Rosen 2013: Fig. 5:14) and a concentration of anchors of an unknown date near Kefar Samir (Galili, Sharvit and Artzy 1994: Fig. 20:3)—as well as from the Late Bronze Age Uluburun shipwreck on the Anatolian coast (Evrin et al. 2002: Fig. 4:16).
Area B8. Finds from this area comprise a Middle Bronze Age storage jar rim, the rim and shoulders of a Late Bronze Age storage jar, and a cover tile from the Roman or Byzantine period, all found lodged into an isolated rocky patch on the sea floor.
Area B12. A stone net sinker or small, three-hole anchor (depth 5.2 m sea water; Fig. 6) was the only item retrieved from this area.
Area B14 yielded submerged settlement remains, part of a wooden ship hull and three scattered stone anchors, presenting a superimposition of remains of various periods more complex than in other areas of the survey.
The remains of the submerged site (c. 30 sq m; Fig. 7), which was dubbed Ha-Bonim North, were found on the eastern slopes of the submerged kurkar ridge (depth 2.5–3.0 m sea water). Predating the sea-level rise of the early Holocene, they are presumably of the Neolithic period. The site encompasses the stone foundations of two curvilinear walls (W18B14-001, W18B14-002) embedded in a clay-rich paleosol and enclosing two structures (Structure 5—exposed length 8 m; Structure 6—exposed length 4 m; Fig. 8). Other rock features were suspected as architectural remains during the survey and documented as Structures 1–4, but following a later reassessment do not appear to be human made. The foundations of Structures 5 and 6 were constructed of medium-sized kurkar stones (c. 0.3 × 0.4 m). Remains of a red, clay-like substance observed atop a stone of one of the walls indicates that it may have supported a mudbrick superstructure. Small finds, including pottery sherds, flint, bones and shells, were collected from the exposed clay surface near the two structures.
The remains of a wooden ship hull (1.0 × 1.8 m; Fig. 9) consisted of several planks and frames held together with iron nails. The frames have a square profile, measuring 13 cm in both the sided (‘thickness’) and the molded (‘height’) dimensions (for an explanation of nautical terminology, see Steffy 1994:266−298). Fifteen brass nails collected in this part of Area B14 may have belonged to the sunken vessel. Two concentrations of rough stones, possibly ballast piles, were documented here as well.
The three stone one-hole anchors (Figs. 10–12) were found in the northern part of Area B14. Known parallels for the anchors in Figs. 10 and 11 point respectively to a Middle Bronze Age date (the Temple of Obelisks at Byblos; Frost 1963: Fig. 3) and the Hellenistic period (Marathon Bay; Marcadé and Braemer 1953: Fig. 13:b). The anchor in Fig. 12 has an elongated rectangular shape, is convex at the top, and its hole is located midway between top and bottom; no close parallel was found.
Area C2. Two concentrations of large, well-hewn rectangular stones (Fig. 13) and pottery, all encrusted to a rocky reef (B17C2-001), may represent shipwrecked cargoes. Underwater examination of the pottery revealed that it is mostly from the Hellenistic period.
Area C4. This area yielded an Early or Middle Bronze Age body sherd embedded in the clay seafloor (Fig. 14), though likely not in situ. A complete iron anchor of the Byzantine period (Fig. 15), comprising the ring, stock, shank, arms and flukes, resembles a seventh-century CE anchor from the Yassi-Ada shipwreck (Bass and Doorninck 1982). Also found in this area were free-rolling pottery sherds of a post-Byzantine date and three undated artifacts: a bronze nail, a basalt bowl and a basalt grinding stone (Fig. 16).
The underwater survey of Newe Yam revealed the remains of a submerged site, possibly of a Neolithic age, and a variety of small finds attesting to vigorous maritime activity in the area in antiquity.