Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Roman-era boat found off Italy coast 'almost intact'

Divers say they have discovered a ship off the coast of Italy which they believe is about 2,000 years old. The ship, which was found in the sea off the town on Varazze in the province of Liguria, is thought to be a Roman-era commercial vessel. Fishermen in the area said they had been finding shards of pottery in their nets for years, prompting police divers to launch a search. The ship is said to be in a very well-preserved condition.

"The peculiarity of this is that the wreck could be almost intact," Lt Col Francesco Schilardi of the police divers' group told the BBC.
"We believe it dates to sometime between the 1st Century BC and the 1st Century AD," Lt Col Schilardi said.

The mud on the seabed had hidden but also protected the wreck, he added. The divers say that study of the vessel should help to understand commercial activity in that era.
The ship is thought to have travelled on trade routes between Spain and what is now central Italy and was loaded with more than 200 clay amphorae likely to have contained fish, wine, oil and grain.

Via http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19153732