Ancient Roman shipwreck found off Balearic Islands

Underwater archaeologists discovered remains of an ancient Roman vessel that sank off the coast of Cabrera, near the southern coast of Mallorca. The shipwreck is believed to be 1800 years old.

Ancient Roman shipwreck’s remains (by Jordi Chias)

The shipwreck was discovered and explored in October 2016. It sits on the seabed at a depth of 70 meters. Archaeologists found the cargo in form of an estimated amount of 1000-2000 amphorae on board still in their original position. The ship’s remains are said to be buried beneath the clay vessels. According to the researchers it is the best preserved shipwreck of its kind in the Balearic archipelago, one of the few intact examples in the western Mediterranean, and the first completely unaltered ancient wreck ever found in Spanish waters.

Close up of the ship’s cargo (by Jordi Chias)

The 20-metre-long ship is believed to date to between 3rd-4th cent. BC. The amphorae on board the ship have been identified as originating from North Africa and south of Portugal. This implicates that the ship traded between North Africa and Spain, as well as France and potentially Rome, carrying the fermented fish sauce, garum.

(after El Pais & Jordi Chias)

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