Roman shipwrecks challenge history

From Greek Culture Ministry

It’s always interesting when a new discovery challenges the way we think about the past. (It happens all the time!) Greek archaeologists, for example, recently announced the discovery of two Roman-era shipwrecks. Unlike most shipwrecks from this period, which have typically been found in 30-40 meters of water, these wrecks lay 1.2 to 1.4 kilometers under the surface of the Mediterranean.

Angeliki Simossi, head of Greece’s underwater antiquities department, told reporters:

The conventional theory was that, as these were small vessels up to 25 meters long, they did not have the capacity to navigate far from the coast, so that if there was a wreck they would be close enough to the coast to save the crew.

But in the past 15 years, by US archaeologist Brendan Foley’s account, a series of ancient wrecks located far offshore has forced experts to reconsider this long-held theory. Makes sense–why would ancient mariners only navigate through the most dangerous waters (i.e. coastal waters)?

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Filed under Announcement, Notes from the Field, Wrecks in the News

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