Incredible footage reveals more than 100 ‘perfectly preserved’ Roman amphorae in a shipwreck

Incredible footage reveals more than 100 ‘perfectly preserved’ Roman amphorae used to store olive oil and wine in a 1,700-year-old shipwreck off the coast of Majorca

  • The remains were discovered by local resident Felix Alarcón and his wife in July
  • The vessel sank mere feet off of the coast of what is today Can Pastilla Beach
  • A merchant ship, the wooden wreck is around 33 feet long and 16 feet wide
  • Experts think the long-necked, two-handled jars carried fish sauce, oil and wine
  • The jugs will need to be treated to remove salt before they can be opened up

Incredible footage reveals a Roman shipwreck containing more than 100 perfectly preserved amphorae that underwater archaeologists are painstakingly recovering.

The wreck — which experts have dated back to around 1,700 years ago — was found off of the coast of Mallorca back in July 2019.

Based on some of the inscriptions on the long, two-handled jars, the archaeologists believe that the amphorae were used to store fish sauce, oil and wine.

However, researchers will not be able to open them to check until they have finished preservation work that will stop the salt in the sea water cracking the jars.

Incredible footage reveals a Roman shipwreck containing more than 100 perfectly preserved amphorae that underwater archaeologists are painstakingly recovering

The wreck was found off of the coast of Mallorca’s Can Pastilla Beach in July after local resident Felix Alarcón and his wife spotted pottery shards on the seabed.

After investigating, archaeologists found the Roman boat buried in the seabed mere feet from the shore. 

In a press conference, archaeologist Sebastian Munar of the Balearic Institute of Maritime Archaeology Studies said that the amphorae were perfectly conserved in the ship’s hold.

The vessel is around 33 feet (ten metres) long and 16 feet (five metres) wide. 

The merchant ship is thought to have been carrying its wares between Mallorca and the Spanish mainland.  

Experts think that the Roman vessel sank around 1,700 years ago — although likely not as a result of a storm, given the excellent preservation of its fragile cargo.  

The wreck — which experts have dated back to around 1,700 years ago — was found off of the coast of Mallorca back in July 2019

The wreck — which experts have dated back to around 1,700 years ago — was found off of the coast of Mallorca back in July 2019

Based on some of the inscriptions on the long, two-handled jars, the archaeologists believe that the amphorae were used to store fish sauce, oil and wine

Based on some of the inscriptions on the long, two-handled jars, the archaeologists believe that the amphorae were used to store fish sauce, oil and wine

However, researchers will not be able to open the amphorae until they have finished preservation work that will stop the salt in the sea water cracking the jars

However, researchers will not be able to open the amphorae until they have finished preservation work that will stop the salt in the sea water cracking the jars

With the assistance of the Spanish navy and national police divers, archaeologists have removed the jars, however the wreck itself is to be left on the sea floor.

The amphorae on-board the vessel have been transferred to the Museum of Mallorca, where experts will be analysing and restoring the spectacular artefacts.

‘The amphorae are now in swimming pools where they are being desalinated and we think this process will last about four months,’ Mallorca council heritage director Kika Coll told CEN.

‘This process is important because the salt crystallises and can break the amphorae.’

‘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.’

In a press conference, archaeologist Sebastian Munar of the Balearic Institute of Maritime Archaeology Studies said that the amphorae were perfectly conserved in the ship's hold

In a press conference, archaeologist Sebastian Munar of the Balearic Institute of Maritime Archaeology Studies said that the amphorae were perfectly conserved in the ship’s hold

The merchant ship is thought to have been carrying its wares between Mallorca and the Spanish mainland. Experts think that the Roman vessel sank around 1,700 years ago — although likely not as a result of a storm, given the excellent preservation of its fragile cargo

The merchant ship is thought to have been carrying its wares between Mallorca and the Spanish mainland. Experts think that the Roman vessel sank around 1,700 years ago — although likely not as a result of a storm, given the excellent preservation of its fragile cargo

The wreck was found off of the coast of Mallorca's Can Pastilla Beach in July after local resident Felix Alarcón and his wife spotted pottery shards on the seabed

The wreck was found off of the coast of Mallorca’s Can Pastilla Beach in July after local resident Felix Alarcón and his wife spotted pottery shards on the seabed


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