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Ancient shipwreck full of amphorae discovered in the Mediterranean

In Italy, in the Mediterranean Sea near the Aegean Archipelago, archaeologists have discovered on the seabed the wreck of an ancient Roman ship filled with amphorae. A previously unknown wreck of an ancient vessel has been located by archaeologists at a depth of 98 metres near the Egadi Islands. The remains of the Roman ship
Published: January 6, 2022 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 23:52
Ancient shipwreck full of amphorae discovered in the Mediterranean

In Italy, in the Mediterranean Sea near the Aegean Archipelago, archaeologists have discovered on the seabed the wreck of an ancient Roman ship filled with amphorae.

A previously unknown wreck of an ancient vessel has been located by archaeologists at a depth of 98 metres near the Egadi Islands. The remains of the Roman ship were determined by researchers to date from the 4th to 5th century. Although little is known about the wreck so far, researchers have reported that the vessel was carrying a cargo of amphorae. Therefore, it is the thorough examination of the contents of the hold that may reveal more important information. For now, it is known that the amphorae are vessels of the Almagro 51c type and come from the Iberian Peninsula.

The discovery of the ancient Roman wreck is the result of an extensive research campaign around the Aegean Islands. The research was coordinated by the Maritime Surveillance Authority of the Region of Sicily, in collaboration with the non-profit organisation RPM Nautical Foundation and the University of Malta.

Newly Discovered Ancient Shipwreck

A new ancient wreck has been discovered off the Aegates Islands! The wreck appears to be Roman from the late 4th to early 5th century AD. Below is the initial side scan sonar image of the wreck and the video taken from the ROV launched from the Hercules. The wreck has an estimated 1,500 amphoras, mostly of the Almagro 51C type, produced in the Iberian Peninsula. This type of amphora was frequently used in the trade of fermented fish sauce, better known as garum. There are also 4-5 anchors visible.

Posted by RPM Nautical Foundation on Tuesday, August 10, 2021

The specialists conductedarchaeological research in the Egadi Islands region in November 2020 and July 2021. First, using the Hercules unit with side scan sonar, they scanned the surveyed area and they were looking for interesting objects. They then checked promising positions using a remotely operated ROV. The vehicle, equipped with video cameras, allowed them to see exactly what the archaeologists were dealing with on the seabed.

Further exploration in 2022.

This year, researchers will return to the wreck and make detailed documentation of it. Thanks to SopMare and Professor Timmy Gambin of the University of Malta, archaeologists will create a 3D image of the vessel they found in the Mediterranean. Undoubtedly, such a model will help in further research and significantly facilitate the study of the site.

The discovery is further evidence of the ongoing work we are doing on the seabed. Because our aim is to discover new submerged archaeological sites and learn more about their history. The increasing use of new technologies in the field of underwater research gives us satisfactory results. Without doubt, the discovery of a new wreck at great depth confirms the importance of intensifying international cooperation. Sicily is a precious treasure whose value lies in enriching with details the narrative of movements in the Mediterranean said Alberto Samona, councillor for cultural heritage and Sicilian identity.

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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