Ancient Roman shipwreck discovered undisturbed in Mediterranean

Vessel thought to be first well-preserved discovery of its kind in history of Cyprus

Ancient Roman shipwreck discovered undisturbed in Mediterranean Sea

An ancient Roman-era shipwreck has been discovered at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea off the eastern coast of Cyprus.

Divers found it was still loaded with transport amphorae – large clay jars typically used for holding wine and other liquids.

It is thought to be the first well-preserved discovery of its kind in the island nation’s history.

Cyprus’ Antiquities Department said the ship was most probably from Syria and ancient Cilicia on modern-day Turkey‘s southern coast.

Underwater archaeologists were working to examine the ship, the department added.

The wreck was found by a pair of volunteer divers with the University of Cyprus’ archaeological research unit.

The Antiquities Department said study of the vessel was “expected to shed new light on the breadth and the scale of seaborne trade between Cyprus and the rest of the Roman provinces of the eastern Mediterranean”.

A number of ancient vessels have been found off the island’s coast including one dating back the Greek era in the middle of the 4th century BC which is thought to be one of the region’s best preserved.

Archeologists working on that wreck said they had gained insights into the evolution of ancient boat-building in the region.

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