Roman Empire ship wrecked is found almost intact
The Department of Antiquities of Cyprus, an island located in the Mediterranean Sea, announced the discovery of a shipwreck of an ancient Roman Empire vessel off the coast of the country. The boat was found filled with amphorae, the name given to the vessels used to transport goods, which were probably being traded to the Roman provinces of Syria.
According to the authorities, this is the first Roman wreck considered to be in excellent condition found in the region: according to the researchers, the material found is almost intact to this day. The study is expected to shed new light on the breadth and scale of maritime trade between Cyprus and the Roman provinces of the eastern Mediterranean.
The wreckage was found by Spyros Spyrou and Andreas Kritiotis, volunteer divers on the underwater archaeological research team at the Marine Archaeological Research Laboratory (MARELAb) at the University of Cyprus. The Department of Antiquities acted immediately after it was reported to secure the necessary funds to cover the cost of the preliminary investigation as quickly as possible. The wreck took place off the coast of Protaras, a tourist town known for its beaches.
In a statement, the Cypriot government thanked the volunteers and civil society for their support in the work of investigating the vessel. "This mobilization of authorities and citizens around an important archaeological site sends optimistic messages about the protection of cultural heritage by Cypriot society."
A team of MARELab archaeologists, students and volunteers, led by Dr. Stella Demesticha, Associate Professor of Maritime Archeology, is already in Protaras. The team is working on the documentation and protection of the site, in collaboration with Dr. Dimitris Skarlatos, Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering and Geoinformatics, Cyprus University of Technology, and Eleni Loizides, Conservator, in the Department of Antiquities.
This project also marks a milestone for Cypriot archeology, as it is the first time that an underwater archeological project has been fully financed by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works.