Ancient Greek ship
An ancient Greek trading ship that had lain on the seabed off the coast of Gela in southern Sicily for 2,500 years was brought to the surface for the first time.
The ancient Greek vessel is 21 metres long and 6.5 metres wide, making it by far the biggest of its kind ever discovered.
Four Greek vessels found off the coasts of Israel, Cyprus and France are at most 15 metres long.
The one in Gela is also of particular value for scholars who will be able to delve into Greek naval construction techniques thanks to the amazing find of still-intact hemp ropes used to 'sew' together the pine planks in its hull - a technique described in Homer's Iliad.
''Gela's ancient ship is the patrimony not only of Sicily but of all humanity,'' said Sicily's regional councillor for culture Antonello Antinoro, who watched Monday's operation.
The campaign to bring the vessel to the surface began shortly after two scuba divers located it by chance in 1988.
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