Scientists Discover Roman Shipwreck Dating Back to Time of Jesus Christ - 19/12/2019

In October, a scientific team from the Balearic Institute of Maritime Archaeology Studies found a Roman cargo ship with jugs containing olive oil and perfectly preserved garum sauce, an ancient form of ketchup. Scientists have discovered the extremely large Roman shipwreck dating back to the time of Jesus Christ. The ship and its cargo could reveal new information about shipbuilding and trade during that time period. The sunken vessel was recently discovered off the coast of Greece, near Kefalonia Island, during a survey conducted by the Oceanus Network of the University of Patras, Greece.

Sonar Equipment and Artificial Intelligence

The wreckage dates back to 1 BC to 1 AD, researchers say. It was found with the help of sonar equipment and artificial intelligence image-processing. It is the fourth largest shipwreck from that period discovered in the Mediterranean Sea. Scientists first discovered the vessel’s cargo – 6,000 well preserved terracotta jars with food and wine – lying on the seafloor and filling the ship’s wooden frame. The vessel itself is estimated to be 33 metres long and 9 metres wide, dwarfing previous findings of that time period. Ships normally were about 15 metres long.

Diving Park for the Wreck

The site had previously been earmarked by archaeologists from the Greek Department of Underwater Archaeology, the Norwegian Institute in Athens, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Further study of the wreck could shed light on sea-routes, trading, amphorae hull stowage and shipbuilding in the period between 1st century BC and 1st century AD. The remaining problem is that it will be too costly to retrieve the wreck. An investor could probably help to develop a diving park for the wreck.

The findings from the 'Fiscardo' shipwreck were recently published in the Journal of Archaeological Science by Dr. George Ferentinos from the University of Patras, Greece.

Last updated: 06/01/2020