The stunning discovery of a shipwrecked vessel in the Mediterranean Sea that is believed to be 2,700-years-old is set to help archeologists discover more about the ancient Phoenicians.
It’s believed that the ship, which is thought to have originated in Sicily, was used to transport Phoenicians across the Mediterranean Sea. However what really has experts purring with excitement is the fact that most of the artefacts that have been discovered on-board the stricken ship are still in great condition.
A team of archeologists from the US, France and Malta have now confirmed that it was found just off the island of Malta. Timmy Gambin, who led the team of explorers that first came into contact with the site, has now opened up about the discovery. “This discovery is considered to be unique… because it is the oldest shipwreck in the central Mediterranean and is in a fantastic state of preservation,” he explained to Times Of Malta. “The technical team is working on putting together the data. So that’s a lot of data crunching. They are creating a very high-resolution 3D model of the site.”
This includes analysing over 8,000 photographs of the area that Gambin and his team explored. Divers found the shipwrecked craft several months ago around 120 meters below the surface on the water. However Gambin still hasn’t revealed the exact location, simply noting that it was a mile off Gozo, a Maltese island.
But what was actually found on-board the ship? According to reports, 50 amphorae, which are huge containers that have two handles and narrow necks and were used to hold wine, as well as 20 lava grinding stones, that each weigh up to 77 pounds, were found amidst the wreckage.
Because of these discoveries, which are of different varieties, experts have been able to decipher that the vessel had traveled to to various harbors and locations before it eventually sank. Researchers and archaeologists have now brought seven pieces of the wreckage to the surface so that they can investigate their findings.
Historians believe that this wreckage will help to unveil more details on the ancient Phoenicians, who lived in close proximity to the present-day Lebanon and used to trade along the coast of the Mediterranean.
Back in 1998, the New York Times said of the Phoenicians, “Modern scholarship knows little of the vanished people and almost nothing of the empire’s basis, its merchant ships. None that are clearly Phoenician have come to light, and only a few images of the vessels have come down through the ages.”
[Image via Bing.com]