Roman shipwreck filled with ancient treasures discovered off Greek island of Kassos

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Roman shipwreck filled with ancient treasures discovered off Greek island of KassosThe artifacts include amphorae sent from Spain to Greece Photo copyright: Greece's Ministry of Culture and Sports

Impressive archaeological finds, including amphorae and pottery of various styles and eras, were discovered in shipwrecks located in the sea area of Kassos, the southernmost island in the Aegean Sea. One of them, which is considered the most significant, is placed in the Roman period and dates between the 2nd and 3rd century AD.

The trove of treasures was found during the second underwater research mission carried out in September and October by the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities of the Ministry of Culture and Sports in collaboration with the Institute of Historical Research of the National Research Foundation.

As Greece's Ministry of Culture and Sports noted in a relevant announcement, “In the remote Kassos, which was a crossroads of civilizations, but also an important navigation center from antiquity to recent years, underwater archaeological research has brought to light important new findings.”

Twenty-three specialized scientists and technicians of various fields performed over one hundred group dives, exploring the sea bed for more than 200 hours and inspecting most of the area which is part of the three-year research project (2019 – 2021) carried out for the first time in the sea area of ​​Kasos. It an area of ​​particular interest as it was a crossroads of cultures and an important navigation center from antiquity to modern times.

The most significant find is the Roman-era shipwreck, which carried amphorae (Dressel 20) containing oil constructed in Spain in the area of Guadalquivir (1st to 3rd century AD), as well as Africana I amphorae made at the ceramic workshops of Africa Proconsularis and specifically in the region of present-day Tunisia, dating between the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.

The underwater discovery also found another three shipwrecks:

  • one carrying amphorae made in the North Aegean in the Hellenistic era (1st century B.C.)
  • another carrying amphorae made in ancient Mendi during the Classical era (5th century B.C.)
  • a third that dates to more modern times

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