More and more archaeological work is carried out under water and the
is a proliferating source as new discoveries make the headlines on a regular
In the bay of Alexandria, three Roman shipwrecks have been discovered together with an Egyptian votive barge and a collection of small artefacts among which are gold coins from the reign of Emperor Augustus. Underwater archaeologists are expecting to expose a fourth shipwreck during this year’s mission (2018) as large wooden beams and pottery belonging to its presumed cargo have been located. Another interesting find is this crystal head which is probably representing Marc Antony.
Further north on a reef near the Cycladic island of Naxos, am underwater expedition located no less than eight shipwrecks from various periods of the
Roman Empire. Diving teams are gearing up for the next exploration since these ships are lying at only 30 meter below sea level. In a first attempt,
they have been dated between 100 BC and 300 AD.
More recently, scientists who were surveying the effects of climate change in the
Black Sea discovered dozens of perfectly preserved wrecks
from the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman eras. What makes this find unique is the
fact that the water of the Black Sea below 150 meters contains no
oxygen (anoxic) and thus
cannot support organisms that usually thrive on organic material. This means that the wood and ropes are still in excellent
conditions. The bulk of the wrecks are about 1300 years old but so far the
oldest one is dated back to the 4th century BC.
Using two Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), researchers were able to “see” these wrecks at a depth of
So far, they have explored a distance of 1,250 kilometers! It
must be quite exciting for them to discover that the ship’s masts are still
standing, their rudders are in place, and the cargoes and ship’s fitting are scattered
on the deck. As detailed features of the ships became visible, they found that
the fittings and equipment matched the drawings and descriptions we had till