The wreckage of an ancient Roman cargo ship built over 2,000 years ago has been found off the coast of Italy.
A vessel about 20 meters long was found near the port of Civitavecchia, about 80 km northwest of Rome. It dates from around the 1st or 2nd century BC.
There are hundreds of amphorae on board the ship. A statement from the police that announced the find said most of the vessels were exceptionally well preserved.
The ship was found on the sandy seabed at a depth of 160 meters below sea level.
“This exceptional find is an important example of an ancient Roman shipwreck that got into trouble at sea and tried to reach the coast. It also gives us an idea of the sea trade routes in ancient times,” police said.
The work related to this archaeological find is managed by a special department of the Italian police, which is responsible for the protection of the country’s cultural heritage.
Its representatives explained that the ship was located and filmed using a remote-controlled robot.
Whether experts will try to raise the wreckage of the ship or cargo from the bottom of the sea to the surface, the police did not specify.
Amphorae like those found on board were commonly used to carry liquids such as oil, wine, or fish sauce.
Such artifacts are widespread in the eastern Mediterranean.
The discovery of a ship with amphorae is not unusual – it is believed that thousands of sunken ships from antiquity are scattered across the Mediterranean Sea.
In 2018, a Greek merchant ship that sank over 2,400 years ago was found lying on its side off the coast of Bulgaria. It was officially recognized as the oldest known ship in the world, discovered in a preserved state.
In the same year, dozens of shipwrecks dating back to the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine eras were discovered in the Aegean Sea.