Archaeology breakthrough: Shipwreck from time of Christ discovered with unexpected cargo

Experts examined the amphorae – tall jugs or jars with handles and narrow necks used by the Greeks and the Romans – and were able to determine the period in which they were used. Dr George Ferentinos of the University of Patras and a team of researchers dated the wreck to between the 1st century BC and the first century AD. They found the wreck using sonar imaging to search the seabed around the island of Cephalonia, or Kefalonia, reports the Journal of Archaeological Science. 

They dubbed it the Fiscardo after the nearby fishing port popular with tourists. 

Dr Ferentinos said if the ship was removed from the floor of the Mediterranean in the future, researchers could get their hands on the hull which may hold more clues about its origin. 

He said the Fiscardo is among the largest four shipwrecks dating from this period to have been found in the Med. 

Dr Ferentinos said: “Its half-buried in the sediment, so we have high expectations that if we go to an excavation in the future, we will find part or the whole wooden hull.” 

The ship is thought to measure 34m in length and 13m in width. 

The dimensions indicate that it may have been among the largest ships cross the Med during the period. 

It was significantly longer than the average merchant ship sailed by the Romans at that time, which was around 15-20m long. 

The Fiscardo lies at a depth of 60m. 

Kefalonia, the largest of the Ionian islands, is an archeologist’s dream and numerous interesting discoveries have been made down through the years. 

The most important find in recent decades was that of the Mycenaean Tholos tomb in the south east of the island in 1991. 

The tomb was erected around 1,300 years before Jesus was born and was the burial place of kings and high ranking officials.