Grosa Island

Treasure found off La Manga

Underwater treasures

By Sally Bengtsson - Le@der

Buried beneath shells, rocks and sand, for 2,600 years, while the construction boom has been completely changing the surrounding landscape, a treasure of incalculable value has lain just off La Manga.

Now, 26 centuries later, archaeologists from eleven countries are bringing these antique objects to the light of day once again.

The find appears to be the cargo of a commercial ship carrying ivory from African elephants, amber and lots of ceramic objects.

The find has been kept secret for the past three years by the team of divers led by the Spaniard Juan Pinedo Reyes and the American Mark Edward Polzer.

The recovery project is being financed by National Geographic, who have reached an agreement with the Spanish Minister of Culture, the Institute of Nautical Archaeology and the University A&M of Texas.

The recovery is taking place around Grosa Island and El Farallon Island, just off La Manga. Over the last three years 1,400 objects have been collected.

Even some of the wood from the bottom of the ship has survived since the 7th Century before Christ (620 BC), and has been recovered. It is believed the vessel measured approximately 15 meters long.