Archaeologists can thank the site of a proposed parking lot in the French Riviera for their newest discovery, a 2,000 year old Roman shipwreck.
Researchers believe the Roman ship sunk just off the port of Antipolis. The area eventually filled with sand over a 2,000 year period, which ultimately hid the discovery.
Not only was the ship discovered, the waterlogged ground apparently kept the haul in “exceptional” condition. Because the ship sunk so close to shore researchers believe its cargo, likely containing the area’s famous fish sauce, was salvaged after the ship sank.
According to the Guardian, the ship has been so well preserved that archaeologists are able to see the saw marks in the ship’s wood. The discover also yielded a small brush that was likely dropped by a workman aboard the sunk ship.
Researchers will now begin the task of dismantling the ship at which point it will be treated for preservation purposes. After the ship’s wood is preserved, the vessel will be reassembled and put on public display.
Treating and placing the shipwreck on display will take no less than four years.
The shipwreck is especially valuable to archaeologists because 90 percent of the port site was destroyed to make way for a marina in the 1970s. After the near total destruction of the port site, laws were enacted to ensure proposed build sites were investigated by professionals for ancient artifacts.
Archaeologists plan to investigate the scene of the discovery further in an attempt to find more historical finds in the area.
The French Riviera discovery following another Roman era shipwreck that was found last month off the coast of Italy.