The cold depths of the Adriatic Sea have yielded yet another bonanza - and it's not fishing. Now, scuba divers will be able to plunge into the clear, astonishingly blue water of the Adriatic. There at the bottom, they'll find ancient treasures protected by a giant underwater safe.
Hundreds of clay amphoras, the storage jars of antiquity, probably once filled with wine and oil, lie 30 meters (96 feet) down. They are among the valuable remnants of an ancient Greek shipwreck, off the coast of Croatian town of Cavtat, with an estimated value of 6 million euros (8 million $) in treasure.
Boris Obradovic, the head of "Epidaurum" Scuba Diving Center, who found the shipwreck in 1999, and now guides experienced scuba divers down to the wreckage, says to ABC News.com that "Although the shipwreck is destroyed, the cargo of the wreck appears to be pristine." A striking video made by him and his team shows "a mixture of gray, brown and reddish amphoras much like they were placed shortly after the ship settled into the ooze." Some amphoras are encrusted with purplish sponges, others with algae and feathery hydroids.
Marijan Orlic, leading underwater archaeologist and retired director of operations for Croatian Conservation Department, had the videotapes studied by nautical archaeologists. They tentatively identified the jars as typical of the African origin, near modern day Tunis, around the third century AD.
amphora wrecks * treasure hunting
Chinese experts to explore sunken ships from Cheng Ho's fleet in Africa: The National Museum of China, Peking University's School of Archaeology and Museology, as well as the Kenya National Museum jointly signed an agreement February 23, under which, Chinese and Kenyan experts will investigate and excavate underwater and onshore cultural relics in Kenya's Lamu Archipelago, in a bid to further solve relevant historical mysteries relating to China-Africa cultural and economic exchange in ancient times. In addition, some Chinese experts will visit Kenya to explore the sunken ships from Cheng Ho's fleet.
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