Diving Into a Mediterranean Shipwreck: Photos
A dive into a 2000-year-old wreck yields signs of ceremonies and sacrifice.
Using a deep-sea mini submarine, archaeologists of the Sicilian Sea Superintendency and Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) found a 2,000-year-old shipwreck in the waters of Sicily's Aeolian Islands.
The wreck was found at a depth of 420 feet. A portion of the ship's wooden hull was preserved.
In the area of the bow, the archaeologists found many large terracotta jars, known as amphora, piled on the sea floor.
GUE deep sea divers were able to retrieve several samples of the cargo.
These jars were used as shipping containers and carried trade products such as honey, olive oil, wine and fish sauce.
Among the jars, the archaeologists also found bowls, normally used for fish.
But the most important find was a terracotta thymiaterion -- an incense burner. The item was found amid the jars and consisted of a large bowl supported by a column with a base embellished with stylized sea waves.
The base of the incense burner was found detached from the rest of the artifact. It featured a Greek inscription of three letters (ETH).
The researchers believe that when the ship sunk, it capsized on its left side. "The position of the cargo on the seafloor indicate that jars and objects originally stored in the bow area were overturned and thrown out of the vessel," Sebastiano Tusa, Sicily's Superintendent of the Sea Office, said.