In search of the medieval city Rungholt sunk in the North Sea, the ethnologist Hans Peter Duerr and his students make in the spring of 1994, an unusual discovery. In the North Frisian Wadden between islands Pellworm and north beach they hit below a Bronze Age peat layer on strange pottery shards, chunks of smell resin, exotic shells and later on a seal. One Lapislazuli block and other objects as they were never found north of the Alps.
Neutron activation analysis at the University of Bonn as well as chemical analysis and C14 dating methods at other German and British research institutions turned the suspicion into certainty: the pottery was made around 1300 BC in southern Crete, and Palestine, and must – at that time together with the incense, the african copal and other finds – have reached the North Sea coast. with Minoan ships.
The objects were apparently sacrificed by sailors – in gratitude to the benevolent goddess of the sea, whose name is on the back of the serpentine seal carved in Minoan Linear A script with the engraving of a ship. Such seals – and this is the first ever to be found outside the Aegean – were not a commercial product, and therefore they are considered as proof of the presence of its owner at the scene. This in turn means that an expedition from the eastern Mediterranean is a thousand years before the Greek Pytheas, who is considered the discoverer of the North Sea, driven out, far in search of tin and amber across the borders of the known world. A company like this was certainly the model for the later legends of the wanderings of Odysseus or the search for the Golden Fleece of the Argonauts.