NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus’ Antiquities Department says the first undisturbed wreck of an ancient Roman-era ship has been discovered at the bottom of the sea off the east Mediterranean island nation’s east coast.
In a statement Thursday, the department said the ship was loaded with transport amphorae, or large jars, most probably from Syria and ancient Cilicia on modern-day Turkey’s southeastern coast.
Though it gave no other details about the wreck, it said a study underway is expected to shed light on the breadth and scale of seaborne trade between Cyprus and other Roman provinces in the eastern Med.
The wreck was found by a pair of volunteer divers with the University of Cyprus’ archaeological research unit.
It’s also the first time an underwater archaeological project is fully funded by the Cyprus government.