2,000 Year-Old Roman Shipwreck So Well-Preserved, Even The Food Is 'Fresh'


CCSS NCSS-1 296 Words 2-Minute Listen

Usually when researchers get excited about a shipwreck, it's because it contains treasures like precious metals or ancient artifacts. However, in the case of a recent find, the buzz is all about . . . . . . the well-preserved food and wine!

Discovered in early August the 2,000 years old yet to be identified Roman vessel was first spotted by fisherman from the coastal town of Varazze, that lies 18 miles west of Genoa, Italy. They alerted the local authorities after inadvertently catching fragments of amphorae, (terracota jar-like containers used in the ancient times to transport food) in their fishnets.

Using a remotely operated vehicle, the officials first marked out the ship's exact location and then sent down divers to examine the area for remains of a sunken ship. To their surprise, just 200 feet below the surface of the water, preserved all these years by the sandy mud, lay an almost intact wreck. Inside, are about 200 amphorae - While some are broken, most are sealed. The few that have been brought to the surface were found to contain perishables like pickled fish, grain, wine and oil.

Experts believe that the ship was a Roman merchant vessel that was carrying food and wine from Central Italy to Spain to barter for other goods sometime between the 1st Century BC and 1st Century AD. Researchers are hoping that further investigation of the food items that still lies inside some of the other containers, will give them an interesting insight into the lifestyle of the ancient Europeans.

The Italian authorities are still deciding whether to bring up the entire ship so that its contents can be examined thoroughly. Meanwhile, they have sealed off the area from fishermen and other vessels to prevent damage and looting.

Resources: news.discovery.com, dailymail.co.uk

Cite Article
  • Evan DickersonMonday, December 11, 2017 at 4:28 pm
    SPQR for the win!
    • horseridinggirl
      horseridinggirlWednesday, October 25, 2017 at 10:33 am
      • DOODMonday, October 23, 2017 at 11:31 am
        • grapefruit
          grapefruitThursday, October 19, 2017 at 5:05 am
          that is cool but how in the world could the food not rot
          • DOODTuesday, October 3, 2017 at 4:08 pm
            Wine ferments (If not fermented, it's grape juice) so that makes sense
            • king_joker
              king_jokerMonday, December 12, 2016 at 12:09 pm
              • JoeyzeemanMonday, November 28, 2016 at 10:42 am
                That was a cool attic ale I didn't know that would still b fresh
                • wasup21
                  wasup21Friday, November 25, 2016 at 8:10 am
                  so cool
                  • doglover15
                    doglover15Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at 5:23 pm
                    That is so fascinating about food from a 2000 year old shipwreck still have food that is 'fresh'! that is just unbelievable!!!
                    • duvuboduja
                      duvubodujaThursday, November 17, 2016 at 7:28 pm
                      i wonder how the foods so good after all of those years?