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Sicily: an extremely unique find from 2,300 years ago!

Underwater archaeologists have found a real treasure off the coast of Sicily. During the exploration they found a 2,300-year-old helmet lying on the bottom! The bronze artefact dates back to the Punic wars and is decorated with the likeness of a lion. Scientists assume that it is a reminder of the battle near the Aegean
Published: December 9, 2017 - 17:47
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 16:06
Sicily: an extremely unique find from 2,300 years ago!

Underwater archaeologists have found a real treasure off the coast of Sicily. During the exploration they found a 2,300-year-old helmet lying on the bottom! The bronze artefact dates back to the Punic wars and is decorated with the likeness of a lion. Scientists assume that it is a reminder of the battle near the Aegean Islands, which took place here in 241 BC.

The found headgear is the so-called Roman helmet or montefortino. Originating de facto from the Celts, it spread all over Europe with the consecutive campaigns conducted by the Romans, who adapted it for the needs of their army. This is, however, the first case where the likeness of a lion was found on a helmet of this type.

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The age of the helmet found was estimated from various objects discovered in the vicinity, including vessels, pottery, amphorae and various other trinkets scattered on the seabed. In juxtaposition with the history of the region, it was determined that the guttering must be a reminder of the aforementioned battle near the Aegean Islands, which took place as part of the First Punic War (264-241 BC).

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Archaeologists speculate that the helmet found may have been the inspiration and precursor for the helmet later worn by the legendary Praetorians – the personal guard of the rulers of the Roman Empire, which was brought to life two centuries after the battle by Emperor Octavian Augustus.

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The helmet with the likeness of a lion, battering rams and many other objects excavated during the exploration of the area were taken to specialist conservation laboratories, where they will be prepared for the future enjoyment of museum visitors.

Punic-War-lion-helmet

The described find, due to its uniqueness, will certainly be a subject of many researches and will supplement our knowledge and military history of that period.

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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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