Large Roman-era shipwreck found off Kefalonia, Greece

Photo: Ionian Aquarium

An underwater archaeology team from Greece’s University of Patras has found a large shipwreck believed to be from the time of Ancient Rome off the Ionian island of Kefalonia in the Meditteranean Sea.

The wreck had originally been identified during a series of cultural heritage surveys in the Mediterranean conducted in 2013 and 2014. It was found at a depth of 60 metres some 2.4 kilometres off the coastal village of Fiskardo, hence its alternate designation as the “Fiscardo wreck.”

Among the notable features of the vessel were its cargo of more than 6,000 well-preserved ceramic jugs known as amphorae, which the expedition team says were used for transporting wine and olive oil.

The 33-metre Fiscardo wreck is believed to be from around the time of the rise of the Roman Empire before the first century CE.

It is also said to be among the largest wrecks from that era to be discovered so far, being about twice as long as most other ships that were in existence during the same period.

The University of Patras’ Dr George Ferentinos said the discovery of the Fiscardo wreck was of “significant archaeological importance” as it could provide scientists additional clues on Ancient Roman ship construction, amphorae storage, and the use of the eastern Ionian Sea as a vital trade route connecting the southern Mediterranean to the Roman provinces clustered around the Adriatic.

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