2,000-year-old Roman ship to be excavated

By Vessels

2,000-year-old Roman ship is the oldest known shipwreck in the Indian Ocean. A team of archaeologists of different countries will search for clues to discover the link between Rome and Asia back in time. It was proven that the ship is on the bottom of the ocean for 2,000 years off the southern coast of Sri Lanka. It is curious that the ancient vessel is lying 33 metres under the water near the fishing village of Godavaya. A harbour that was important location along the maritime Silk Road 200 years AD was discovered by a German archaeologist 24 years ago.

Deborah Carlson, president of the institute of nautical archaeology at Texas A&M University said:

"Everything is pretty broken but the wreck could fill a gap in the existing evidence for the trade that brought metals and exotic commodities like silk from Asia to the Roman world."

Specialists from the US, Sri Lanka and France are participating in the expedition to the Godavaya. Soon divers will start exploring the ancient shipwreck.

The shipwreck represents a concrete mound of corroded metal bars with scattered cargo of glass ingots and pottery. The ancient ship was found just 10 years ago, by a local fisherman who discovered ancient artifacts. Materials from the shipwreck were tested in order the age of the find to be determined. Results were spectacular and was taken a decision the excavation mission to be started.

The team of specialists did not have time to determine where the shipwreck begins and ends for the short period of exploration, but the mound covers an area of about 20 by 20 feet.