Roman ship loaded with amphorae discovered in the Egadi Sea

A Roman ship dating back to the 4th-5th centuries AD loaded with amphorae has been found in the Egadi Sea at a depth of 98 meters.

In the Egadi Sea, at a depth of 98 meters, a ship loaded with amphorae of the Almargo 51c type of origin from the Iberian Peninsula has been discovered. The wreck dates back to the fourth to fifth century AD and its discovery is due to the research campaign that is underway in the sea of the Egadi Islands, coordinated by the Sicilian Region’s Superintendency of the Sea with the collaboration of the RPM Nautical Foundation, a nonprofit archaeological research and education organization that has been supporting the Sicilian Region’s maritime archaeological research and the University of Malta since 2005. The discovery is the result of two research campaigns carried out, in November 2020 and July this year, with a sonar side scan aboard the Hercules, which provided important targets on which research resumed in recent days.

The numerous surveys, carried out with advanced robotic tools such as the AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle) and the ROV (remotely operated vehicles), allowed the detailed identification of the wreck with its cargo of amphorae, the 3D restitution of which will be carried out in 2022 by SopMare and the University of Malta, thanks to Professor Timmy Gambin and RPM in a measurement campaign.

“This discovery is yet another demonstration of the relentless work that continues on our seabed,” says Regional Councillor for Cultural Heritage and Sicilian Identity Alberto Samonà,“to discover new submerged archaeological sites and reconstruct the events of antiquity. The increasing use of new technologies in the field of underwater research is delivering satisfactory results by opening the Mediterranean to a wider and more detailed reading. The discovery of a new wreck at high depth, following that of the Roman ship identified a few days ago in Isola delle Femmine, confirms the importance of intensifying international collaborations. Sicily, in fact, is a precious treasure chest whose value is to enrich with details the narrative about movements in the Mediterranean at a time when Sicily was strategically at the center of international relations, trade and exchange.”

“The exceptional discovery,” added Superintendent Valeria Li Vigni, “is a confirmation of what the Superintendence of the Sea has already been advocating since the time of Sebastiano Tusa, who had indicated in the Egadi sea an inexhaustible source of micro-stories that lead us toward knowledge of History, not only of Sicily but of the Mediterranean.”


Roman ship loaded with amphorae discovered in the Egadi Sea
Roman ship loaded with amphorae discovered in the Egadi Sea

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