20080612

But has it aged well?

Photo courtesy Cyprus News Service

Finding an old wine in a cellar is one thing. Finding it at the bottom of the seas and realizing it is 2,350 years old is quite another.

Marine archaeologists have salvaged ancient wine vases, known as amphora, that were resting in the hull of an ancient cargo ship lying on the seabed off the southern shore of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, according to the island's Antiquities Department.

The hulk was found about 150 feet underwater about 1.5 miles from shore. Last month, divers brought up for study several of the more than 500 terra cotta vases commonly used at the time to carry liquids and preserved foods.

In a statement released to the press, the department said, "Apart from the Chian amphorae, which form the overwhelming majority, there are also other types from islands of the north Aegean. ... The results of this study will shed light on the many problems of nautical and economic history," including commercial relations between the north Aegean and southeastern Mediterranean and how sea trade was organized.

Divers are scheduled to begin the next survey phase in October. The project is being undertaken by the University of Cyprus' Archaeology Research Unit and is funded by the Thetis Foundation, a private institution that protects underwater cultural heritage.

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1 comment:

Dimitri Cherny - Founder, CEO of Highest Wind LLC. said...

I don't know where or when I heard it, but for years I've been re-telling (and occasionally embellishing) the tale of salvage divers in the mediterranean finding a sunken ship with amphorae of wine. Apparently they brought one up to the surface, opened and drank it, commenting that it tasted like a typical cheap Italian wine. Only days later they discovered that was the only amphorae that still held it's contents.

Have you ever heard this story? Is is true? Was it Cousteau?