Source: eitb 24
The remains were discovered by accident in 2000 and after years of arranging financing and assembling crews, exploration of the site off Alicante in southeast Spain began in July.
Marine archeologists said Monday they have made a dazzling discovery in waters off Spain _ the shipwreck of a first century vessel that was taking delicacies to the wealthiest citizens of the Roman Empire.
The remains were discovered by accident in 2000 and after years of arranging financing and assembling crews, exploration of the site off Alicante in southeast Spain began in July, said Carles de Juan, a co-director of the project who works for the Valencia regional government.
The ship is estimated to have been 30 meters (100 feet) long with capacity for around 400 tonnes of cargo, making it much larger than other Roman shipwrecks found in the Mediterranean, de Juan said in an interview.
The ship probably sank in a storm while sailing from Cadiz in the south of what is now Spain back to Rome.
Besides the size of the ship and good condition of its cargo, the site is also unique because it is so accessible _ in just 25 meters (80 feet) of water about 1.5 kilometers (one mile) from the coast.
"I am not going to say it was on the beach but almost," said de Juan, who was among the first divers to examine the shipwreck in 2000. "We knew it was an important find but had no real idea until now," de Juan said. "It is an exceptional find."
De Carles and the other co-director of the project, Franca Ciberchinni of the University of Pisa in Italy, presented their first academic report on the site at a marine archaeology conference last week in the town of Gandia near Valencia.