Italy: Underwater Archaeological Discovery Relating to Links with Ancient Greece

The history of Ancient Greece can “turn” and even rewrite a very important discovery made on the seabed off the coast of Italy.

A few days ago, the wreckage of a Corinthian ship was discovered with amphoras, vases, ceramic bottles and objects intended for the high society of that time.

The new discovery radically changed everything that archaeologists knew about it, that is, the archaeological ties of ancient Greece with southern Italy.

The story of the discovery of a sunken ship in the Strait of Otranto in Puglia began in 2018, in the context of the construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (ΤΑΡ) to transport gas from Azerbaijan to Italy via Greece.

During the work on laying the pipeline, at a depth of 780 meters, a sunken ship with objects of high archaeological value was discovered.

TAP management funded the removal of 22 vessels using a special type of submarine, with a rope and a special suction pump to extract the contents from the ship’s hold.

Archaeologists found that many of the valuable items were stacked in large boxes (containers) so that amphorae of wine and olives could withstand the long voyage. The Italian Ministry of Culture called the event “unprecedented in the history of underwater archeology.”

Laboratory tests have confirmed that the wreckage and its items date back to the 7th century BC. And here lies an important historical moment, since this important discovery in chronological order shifts the beginning of trade relations between Greece and Greater Greece (that is, the Greek colonies in Sicily and southern Italy) to a more distant time than previously thought.

“Modern research technologies allow us to analyze valuable details from the contents of amphorae and vases to a variety of [перевозимых] olives, ”said Massimo Ozana, director general of the Italian state museums.

As highlighted, the cargo raised from the bottom “is a very rich heritage that demonstrates the need to return to investment in underwater and underwater archeology, which can return not only the treasures hidden in our seas, but also clarify historical data.”

The official assured that the intention of the ministry is to raise the remaining 200 finds, which still rest on the seabed, to the surface, after which a museum will be created.

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