Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Window onto ancient Rome

A beautifully preserved Roman cargo vessel, loaded with amphorae (sealed clay jars), is now yielding up its treasures, six years after it was discovered. The ship apparently sank in a storm of the southeastern coast of Spain about 2,000 years ago. The vessel was 100 feet long and carried 400 tons of cargo. This included lead, copper, and hundreds of amphorae, some containing fish sauce, a prized condiment in ancient Rome. Archaeologist Javier Neto told a reporter, "For archaeologists, a sunken ship is a historic document that tells us about ancient history and how its economy worked. This ship will contribute a lot."
COMMENT: The dimensions above make the ship considerably larger than the Santa Maria, the largest vessel in Christopher Columbus' little fleet sailing over fourteen centuries later.

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