Ancient Roman Ship Found Intact With Cargo Off Italian Coast

Sat, 08/31/2013 - 06:30
An Ancient Roman vessel has been discovered in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Liguria in northwest Italy. The ship dates to between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD. It was located approximately a mile off the coast of Varazze in Liguria some 164 feet underwater. Local fishermen found pieces of pottery in their nets and alerted the authorities. Archaeologists and police divers used a remotely operated vehicle to investigate and found what appeared to be a shipwreck buried in mud. The sandy mud has helped preserve the ship and its cargo, making the find what experts describe as “one of the most important” of its kind. The Italian Ministry of Culture says the discovery will help shed light on trade between Italy, France and Spain during Roman times. The vessel is reported to contain as many as 250 clay amphorae that may have contained wine, honey, grain, fish and olive oil. Some appear to be sealed with caps of pitch and pine. Divers are attempting to retrieve sealed amphorae that may still contain food and drink, which could reveal information on Mediterranean dietary habits in ancient times. Divers have said that it may be possible to raise the shipwreck but it is up to the Italian authorities to decide whether to recover it.
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