This footage shows the nearly 100 amphorae found in a 1,700-year-old shipwrecked Roman vessel on the seabed off Majorca.
It shows the long jugs, which are amphorae, containers with two handles used in antiquity for the storage and transportation of foodstuffs such as wine and olive oil, being retrieved from a Roman wreck that was discovered off Can Pastilla Beach in Majorca in the eastern Spanish region of the Balearic Islands.
Video Credit: CEN/ConselldeMallorca/IBEAM
Kika Coll, director of the local council’s heritage department, told Central European News (CEN): “The amphorae are now in swimming pools where they are being desalinated and we think this process will last about four months.
“This process is important because the salt crystallises and can break the amphorae.”
Sebastian Munar, underwater archaeologist of the Balearic Institute of Maritime Archaeology Studies (IBEAM), said in a press conference that the ship’s amphorae were perfectly conserved in the hold.
Experts believe the Roman vessel sank about 1,700 years ago due to technical problems rather than as the result of a storm.
Researchers believe the amphorae were used to store wine, oil and fish sauce, based on the inscriptions on the containers.
Scientists are waiting for the desalinisation process to finish before attempting to open them.
Kika Coll told CEN: “The amphorae have spent 1,700 years underwater and we do not want to make mistakes.
“Once we are able to translate the inscriptions, we will learn more about the merchants, the products they transported and where they came from.”
The recovered artefacts have been transferred to the Museum of Mallorca where the desalinisation process and restoration work will take place over the coming months.
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Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
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