5 Sunken Roman Ships Found near Italian Island Ventotene
Archaeologists found 5 ancient Roman shipwrecks off a small Italian island Ventotene. The sunken ships date from the 1st century BC to 5th century AD. The ships from the Roman-era are very well presevered as they lie untouched between 330 to 490 feet underwater. The discovery was made using sonar technology.
"The ships appear to have been heading for safe anchorage, but they never made it," said Timmy Gambin, head of archaeology for the Aurora Trust (www.auroratrust.com). "So in a relatively small area we have five wrecks...a graveyard of ships."
The archaeologists are concerned that the increasing popularity in deep water diving would threaten the archaeological site. The site will attract treasure hunters eventually.
"There is a race against time," he said. "In the next 10 years, there will be an explosion in mixed-gas diving and these sites will be accessible to ordinary treasure hunters."
"It is like an underwater museum," Zarattini said. The finding also sheds light on the trade routes of ancient Rome, marking the area as a major commercial crossroads, she said.