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August 16, 2005

Archaelogists On Trail Of Ancient Warships

Rome - Italian archaeologists believe they are on the verge of finding the ancient ships downed in the battle of the Aegates Islands more than 2,000 years ago thanks to modern technology and a police tip-off.

"This project has an enormous historical value, but perhaps more important is the relevance for archaeology," Sebastiano Tusa, Sicily's chief of marine culture, said on Friday.

"What we find will help us understand how wars were waged at that time and how battleships were built."

Team of Italy's famed art police busted a collectorAfter two years of underwater searches around the islands, which lie west of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea, experts last year found a bronze helmet and some amphorae from about 241 BC, the date of the decisive Roman victory over the Carthage fleet.

At around the same time, a team of Italy's famed art police busted a collector who had a ship's bronze battering ram from the same period on display in his home. It turned out the relic had been illegally looted using nets from the same area.

Unfortunately for Sicily's archaeologists, that area lies 70 metres below sea level.

[There's more at the link. Go to the link to this article to read the rest of the story.]

Posted on August 16, 2005 at 11:25 AM | Permalink