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Ancient wreck full of amphorae discovered in Spain - video

Underwater archaeologists from the Balearic Institute of Studies in Maritime Archaeology (IBEAM) are investigating an ancient wreck filled with amphorae off the coast of Mallorca, discovered by a local resident in July 2019. Nearly 100 vessels have been counted at the fantastic site, and scientists have put its age at around 1,700 years. The wreck
Published: October 2, 2019 - 12:15
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 18:37
Ancient wreck full of amphorae discovered in Spain – video

Underwater archaeologists from the Balearic Institute of Studies in Maritime Archaeology (IBEAM) are investigating an ancient wreck filled with amphorae off the coast of Mallorca, discovered by a local resident in July 2019. Nearly 100 vessels have been counted at the fantastic site, and scientists have put its age at around 1,700 years.

The wreck was found in July this year by Felix Alarcon and his wife. The Mallorca resident informed the authorities and they asked IBEAM scientists to help investigate and secure the site. Interestingly, the wreck is located right next to the popular Can Canilla Beach.

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The found ancient wreck of a merchant ship measures more than 10 metres long and about 4.5 metres wide. Experts working at the site assume that the Roman vessel transported amphorae with oil, wine and garum – a fermented sauce made from fish intestines. So-called “Roman ketchup” was a very popular condiment in ancient times.

The footage below shows what an incredible find we are dealing with. The Roman wreck, full of perfectly preserved amphorae, is a true time capsule, which has kept a piece of the ancient world for us to this day.

Posted by IBEAM. Instituto Balear de Estudios en Arqueología Marítima on Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Felix Alarcon and his wife noticed pottery fragments on the seabed and informed the local authorities. It didn’t take long, however, for archaeologists investigating the site to uncover a Roman wreck buried in the seabed.

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Scientists assume that the found vessel was used to transport goods between Majorca and the Iberian Peninsula. However, the reasons why the vessel was found on the bottom may be unusual, as, according to archaeologists, the perfectly preserved cargo rather rules out the ship sinking as a result of a storm.

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The found amphorae were excavated and transported to a museum in Mallorca, where they are undergoing conservation treatments to protect the fragile vessels from damage. However, before the vessels, which have survived intact until now, can be opened, they must first undergo conservation treatments.

“The amphorae are now in pools where they are being desalinated. We think this will take about four months. This is a very important process because salt crystallises and can lead to the amphorae cracking. The vessels have spent 1,700 years under water and we don’t want to make any mistakes. When we are able to decipher the inscriptions on the amphorae, we will learn more about the merchants, the products they carried and their origins.” – said Mallorca council’s Heritage Director.

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Source: Balearic Institute of Studies in Maritime Archaeology (IBEAM)
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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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